Washington Continues to Consider a Carbon Tax and Defends Clean Air Rule

By K&L Gates, Lexology. 

This is the first installment in the West Coast Carbon Policy Update — Three Part Series, which will examine carbon policies along the West Coast in Washington, Oregon, and California.


While federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement) may be rolled back under the Trump administration, states continue to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. In Washington, lawmakers continue to explore passing a carbon tax while the state’s Clean Air Rule faces judicial scrutiny. Meanwhile, in Oregon, lawmakers are considering several bills, including a statewide cap-and-trade program and a carbon tax, to add a pricing component to climate regulations passed by the Oregon legislature in 2007 and the future of California’s cap-and-trade program is uncertain. These state-led efforts create a patchwork of different climate regulations on the West Coast, which may present challenges to compliance — particularly for those entities that operate across the West.