In an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz on Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington sounded the alarm on the escalating climate change crisis, stating that the fuse had been burning for decades, and now the “climate change bomb” has gone off.
“This is the age of consequences because whatever we thought of climate change last year, we now understand that the beast is at the door,” he said.
Gov. Inslee, said that the Earth is “screaming at us.” He shared insights from his conversations with a scientist.
“It’s happening to us maybe two decades earlier than we really thought could be in the realm of the possible. so we have to dramatically increase our efforts,” he said.
The way to combat climate change is to stop using fossil fuels altogether, he said, calling oil a “massive assault on humanity.”
He did not mention that Washington state has the fifth-greatest oil refining capacity of any state, with 5 refineries and a capacity of 637,700 barrels per day.
Inslee said Washington state is electrifying its state transportation fleet, and has passed a law requiring 100% “clean energy” in the years ahead.
When questioned about meaningful climate goals, Gov. Inslee underscored that short-term action is essential. His office has set ambitious targets such as stopping the sale of gas- and diesel-powered cars after 2035 and electrifying its ferry fleet.
Inslee did not mention that the cost overruns for electrifying the ferry fleet in Washington have been so great that the executive branch will have to go back to the Legislature for more appropriations before starting the project.
Bids for the conversion came in higher than the $120 million estimated by the state’s Department of Transportation, with one bid at more than $150 million and the other are more than $166 million. Inslee’s ferry electrification project is projected to reduce usage of oil-based fuel by the ferries by 90% by the year 2026.
Inslee called for the United States to lead by example and inspire other nations to join the fight against climate change. The Governor stressed the importance of not only moral responsibility but also self-interest in building economies and creating new jobs through climate-friendly initiatives.
Although Raddatz asked him how the actions of the U.S. could make a difference when she state climate change is a worldwide problem, Inslee said it is all about the United States leading the way.
“You tell your kids to lead when you send them to summer camp. You say, lead. The United States should be, and is the leader in this effort, and people are coming along. We need to lead, and we need to lead not just from a moral standpoint, but from our self-interest standpoint. We need to build these jobs here and build these economies here, these battery companies that are throughout the midwest. We’re rebuilding the rust belt in the Midwest United States into the silicon belt, and the belt of new innovation. So this is a self-interest for us to take action, and we’re certainly committed to it, and again, if you want to be an economic leader, follow Washington State in what we’re doing. We’re building the, you know, the largest fuel cell in the world, powering the largest truck in the world.”
Must Read Alaska was not able to verify that claim, although Washington is pioneering in hydrogen fuel.
In response to skeptics and climate change deniers, Gov. Inslee urged voters to support leaders who take the climate crisis seriously. He criticized former President Donald Trump’s dismissive stance on climate change.
“We can’t wait for Donald Trump to figure this out. We don’t have time to mess around to wait for this knucklehead to figure this out,” he said.