Washington State was the answer to a double Jeopardy puzzle recently. And, as the Washington Policy Center (WPC) points out, the answer highlights an odd problem concerning our state’s classification of “renewable energy.” Via the WPC,
The answer: “Washington leads all states by getting 76% of its electricity from this renewable method.”
The correct question, of course: “What is hydropower?”
The problem: Washington state law doesn’t recognize our clean, renewable hydropower as a clean, renewable power source.
Washington voters approved Initiative 937 in 2006. The initiative requires “utilities in Washington to increase conservation and to get 15% of their power from qualifying renewable energy sources by the year 2020.” It also “limits the amount of hydroelectric power that utilities can count as renewable.”
Jay Inslee loves to cite I-937 as the reason why his extreme green agenda must be implemented. Indeed, I-937’s narrow definition of “renewable energy” benefits Inslee because it leaves the door open for his pricey, special interests-driven “green” agenda. But, the truth is that the initiative poses a serious threat to the future of sustainable “green” energy in our state. The WPC,
“WPC has long recommended that the definition of “renewable energy” under the Initiative 937 law be broadened to include hydroelectric and other non-carbon sources, so that all renewable sources are equally recognized as helping the environment. Such a change would reduce costs for power customers and promote additional technologies that reduce carbon emissions.”
Even the game-show Jeopardy realizes that hydropower is a clean, renewable energy source. It’s time our state followed suit.