When coal is burned, reports Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, “the health risks pile up. Air pollutants such as oxides of sulfur and nitrogen threaten cardiac and respiratory health. Tiny particles – some that rise directly from the smokestacks, others that form in the air from combustion products – penetrate deeply into people’s lungs, triggering heart disease deaths. Toxic components of coal such as mercury settle onto land and in waterways, enter the food chain and damage people’s nervous systems” (Seattle Times, 2/17/11). 2SSB 5769 amends earlier versions of the bill to require TransAlta to phase in emission reductions to meet a defined “emissions performance standard” no sooner than 2020 and no later than 2025.
Action: Call members of the Senate Rules Committee and request they pull 2SSB 5769.
Representative Hasegawa was overheard reminding people this week that no bill is truly dead in the legislature until the session has ended. Although neither HB 1320 nor SB 5238—Washington Investment Trust—were voted out of committee, Representative Hasegawa hopes to find a way to keep the bills alive.