The climate candidate now has a climate plan—or at least the beginnings of one.
On Friday, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington announced a major plank of his climate-focused platform for president: a three-part plan to reshape the U.S. auto market, building code, and power grid over the next decade and a half.
You could call it the 100-100-100 plan. Inslee would require that, by 2030, 100 percent of new cars sold in the United States must be fully electric, 100 percent of U.S. electricity must come from carbon-neutral sources, and 100 percent of newly constructed buildings must emit no greenhouse gases from their kitchens, chimneys, or heating systems.
He would also mandate that, by 2035, 100 percent of U.S. electricity be generated by zero-emissions sources. A carbon-neutral grid requires utilities to remove as much carbon pollution from the atmosphere as power plants emit. (This might mean, for example, planting more trees.) A zero-emissions grid requires utilities to use only power sources that release no greenhouse gases at all, such as wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectric dams, and nuclear plants.
The agenda mirrors many of the policies that Inslee has piloted in Washington. Next week, the governor will sign a bill committing the Evergreen State to a carbon-neutral grid by 2030, and a zero-emissions grid by 2045. It will represent a long-awaited victory for Inslee: After years of trying, and several failed attempts to put a statewide price on carbon pollution, Inslee will succeed in passing an ambitious climate policy in Washington. And he has found this success not by trying to tax carbon pollution, but by going sector by sector, coaxing and prodding individual parts of the economy to change their ways. It is a strategy he now hopes to bring to the White House.