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How Washington state plans to reduce carbon pollution

New rule will require large emitters to reduce carbon emissions by 1.7% every three years.


SEATTLE — Washington state’s largest industrial polluters would be required to reduce carbon emissions gradually over time under a proposed rule.

The measure released June 1 is a key piece in Gov. Jay Inslee’s efforts to tackle climate change and reflects other efforts in California and the Northeast.

After failing to win passage of a plan to charge a fee for emissions, Inslee directed the state Department of Ecology to limit greenhouse gas emissions under its existing authority.

Under the rule, large emitters would be required to reduce carbon emissions by an average of 1.7% every three years.

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The rule would initially apply to about two dozen oil refineries, power plants and others that release at least 100,000 metric tons of carbon a year. More facilities would likely be covered by the rule as the threshold is lowered over time.

It’s the state’s second attempt at an emissions rule. The Ecology agency says the latest version provides new ways for some businesses to comply, including recognizing early carbon-reduction efforts.

© 2016 The Associated Press

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