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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Initiative to stop natural-gas phase out would 'turn back the clock' in WA

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Monday, June 17, 2024   

Signature gatherers in Washington state hope to get an initiative on the November ballot to roll back the state's attempt to phase out natural gas in buildings and environmental groups worry about the effect the initiative would have.

The measure would ensure gas companies and utilities can still offer natural gas and bans cities from prohibiting or discouraging natural gas in buildings. The initiative is sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Washington.

Dylan Plummer, senior field organizing strategist for the Sierra Club, said the measure would be bad for the state and its climate goals.

"What they're hoping to do is turn back the clock multiple years on the progress that Washington state has made on climate action," Plummer asserted. "Specifically electrification efforts, whether it's local building codes like what Seattle has passed or the state building code and other local efforts."

Supporters said people should have the ability to choose natural gas. To qualify for the ballot, signature gatherers need to get nearly 325,000 signatures by July 5.

Plummer argued keeping natural gas around will exacerbate the climate crisis and noted the building sector is a significant contributor of greenhouse gases in the country.

"Specifically, the use of fossil fuels like 'natural' or methane gas for heating and water-heating," Plummer noted. "It's one of the single largest sources of emissions in Washington state."

Plummer added if the initiative passes, it could have negative effects on the state's move toward clean energy.

"We're removing key subsidies and incentives that are going to drive the transition to allow for greater access to these really important technologies that will reduce energy burden, that will protect health and safety indoors and out, and that will protect our climate," Plummer outlined.

Disclosure: The Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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