Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are only a few days left in our critical Mid-Year Campaign and we truly might not make it without your help.
Please join us. If you rely on independent media, support Common Dreams today. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

The Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seen from the top of the Louisiana State Capitol, March 5, 2017.

The Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seen from the top of the Louisiana State Capitol, March 5, 2017. (Photo: William Clarke Casey, cc)

In Far-Reaching Plan, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Proposes Radical Changes to Fossil Fuel Industry

"Governor Inslee's plan is the first we've seen that truly acknowledges this emergency and proposes critical steps to turn it back."

Eoin Higgins

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee isn't one of the top contenders for his party's nomination for president in 2020, but his campaign, which focuses on climate change, is pushing to end U.S. fossil fuel dependence by hitting climate crisis-exacerbating companies where it hurts: the wallet. 

In Inslee's "Freedom from Fossil Fuels" plan, the governor calls for ending subsidies for fossil fuels, ensuring any new energy infrastructure is put through a rigorous permitting process, and introducing fees for greenhouse gas emissions. The plan, which marks the most comprehensive approach to addressing the climate crisis presented by a 2020 Democrat to date, is part of what Inslee described in comments to HuffPost reporter Alexander Kaufman as working "in the only time period that's consistent with our survival in the world."

"This will get us off fossil fuels in the only time period that's consistent with our survival in the world as we know it," said Inslee. "Don't expect these people to go easily."

Inslee's plan shows how the conversation around climate is moving, said Julian Brave NoiseCat, Green New Deal Strategy director for Data for Progress. NoiseCat told environmental news outlet Earther Monday that the plan's "move toward an investment and accountability framework is a very notable paradigm shift."

"The notion that corporations should have to pay for damages to the public health of frontline communities or to industries impacted like fishing, agriculture, and those types of very climate-leading indicator sectors is out ahead," said NoiseCat. 

At the same time, however, President Donald Trump has taken every opportunity to roll back climate regulation and make exploiting the country's resources easier for energy companies. 

In a statement, environmental advocacy group Oil Change U.S. celebrated Inslee's plan as a retort to Trump's energy-happy policies.

"The U.S. is poised for a massive oil and gas expansion that would make achieving our climate goals basically impossible if left unchecked," said the group. "Governor Inslee's plan is the first we've seen that truly acknowledges this emergency and proposes critical steps to turn it back."

Oil Change added that the other candidates need to "choose a side" between Big Oil and the public. 

"Governor Inslee has shown he's unafraid to stand with the people," the group said, "and we expect the full Democratic field to join him."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Now We're Talking!' Says AOC as Biden Backs Filibuster Carveout for Abortion Rights

"Time for people to see a real, forceful push for it," said the New York Democrat. "Use the bully pulpit. We need more."

Jake Johnson ·


Supreme Court Says Biden Can End 'Shameful' Remain in Mexico Asylum Policy

"Now is the turn for Congress to get rid of Title 42, and provide a solution to the weakened asylum system in place, to provide a humane and fair alternative to vulnerable children, families, and individuals fleeing unsafe conditions and persecution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Democrats Lose Senate Majority as 82-Year-Old Leahy Heads for Hip Surgery

"It could be over for the Senate Dems now," said one policy expert in response. "This could mean they effectively lost their majority."

Jon Queally ·


Beijing Slams NATO for 'Maliciously... Smearing' China as a Security Threat

"Who's challenging global security and undermining world peace?" Chinese officials asked. "Are there any wars or conflicts over the years where NATO is not involved?"

Kenny Stancil ·


US Supreme Court Drops Carbon Bomb on the Planet

One Democratic senator warned the right-wing majority's ruling "could unleash a new era of reckless deregulation that will gut protections for all Americans and the environment."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo