Bill sponsor Mark Klicker, 16th Legislative District Representative, introduced the bill after recognizing the need for equity in the siting process of the clean energy movement. Klicker introduced House Bill 1871 on Friday in the House Environment and Energy Committee. However, due to a shortage of time, public testimony on the bill was postponed till Tuesday, Jan. 25.
HB 1871 includes a short-term moratorium on the siting of alternative energy facilities (including the Horse Heaven Wind Farm) until December 2023, to establish a legislative task force that would:
- Investigate current inequity between clean energy producing counties and clean energy consuming counties; and
- Research how inequity might expand dramatically with the current approval process that considers each project in isolation rather than as part of a cumulative impact that will occur over decades
HB 1871 would not impact the development or siting of small modular nuclear reactors.
“Too many rural counties are being forced to house alternative energy facilities but are seeing nothing in return. It’s time to revisit the process to determine where these sites are located and who is benefitting from them,” said Klicker. “We need to create a plan that works for our rural counties and the people that live there, and not just the counties that use the energy.”
Those wishing to submit written comments, testify remotely on the bill, or let their position be noted for the legislative record, may go to: https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/House. Select “Environment and Energy Committee” with the meeting schedule of 01/25/22 8:00 am, and then select “HB 1871 Alt. energy facility siting.”