Legislature promotes timber industry’s carbon reduction

Legislation would make sector more competitive amid carbon-emission fees

OLYMPIA — State lawmakers have passed legislation that will align the timber and forestry sector with the state’s carbon emission goals.

The Senate voted 46-3 last Thursday in favor of passing House Bill 2528, which would recognize the amount of carbon that trees absorb from the atmosphere and allow that amount to be accounted for after the potential implementation of a carbon emission tax. The House passed the measure in January in a 95-0 vote.

Cindy Mitchell, senior director of public affairs for Washington Forest Protection Association, said this law will help recognize the role forests, both public and private, play in reducing atmospheric carbon. Mitchell said the state’s 8 million privately owned acres of working forests account for a 12 percent annual reduction of the state’s carbon emissions.

The bill not only gives the timber and forestry industry a competitive edge against other carbon-emitting industries after implementation of a carbon fee, it would recognize the sector as one that reduces atmospheric carbon. And it directs the state Department of Commerce to promote timber and forestry products.

“There’s a longstanding presumption that timber harvesting and environmental protection are mutually exclusive, but the truth is just the opposite,” said Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, in a written statement. “By aligning timber practices and cycles with the state’s carbon reduction goals, we can boost our rural economies and improve our environmental health at the same time.”

The bill will return to the House for concurrence with amendments made in the Senate before it makes its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

________

This story is part of a series of news reports from the Washington State Legislature provided through a reporting internship sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation.

More in Politics

Clallam PUD candidates cite costs as top priority

Three hopefuls line up for six-year board position

More candidates join local races

Third declares for state Senate seat

Packed races begin to emerge

Political hopefuls file intent to run

Heather Dudley-Nollette.
Bayside director to run for Jefferson County commissioner

Heather Dudley-Nollette seeks District 1 seat

Port Angeles City Council hopefuls Kate Dexter and Travis Berglund answer questions during a Port Angeles Business Association forum Tuesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles mayor to run for county commission

Dexter has supported climate action plan, affordable housing

Emily Randall, left, and Hilary Franz.
Stalwarts take sides in race for Kilmer’s seat

A growing constellation of Democratic Party influencers are choosing sides in the… Continue reading

Online learning keeps rising among state’s K-12 students

Online learning for Washington’s public school kids is here to stay. That’s… Continue reading

Jefferson County turnout tops in state

More than half registered voters handed in ballots

Battle narrows to Biden and Trump

Tuesday’s primaries give each the delegates needed for a November contest

Johnson
Clallam commissioner announces bid for third term

Housing, timber revenue among several priorities

Mike Chapman.
Housing discussed at update

Tharinger, Chapman talk about legislation

House, Senate release spending proposals

Supplemental budgets to be negotiated