Rep. Mary Dye and Rep. Beth Doglio: Bipartisan environmental accomplishments worth celebrating this Earth Day
On this 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, we as lawmakers from diverse regions in Washington state reflect on our collective accomplishments. As the new chair of the House Environment and Energy Committee, Rep. Doglio brings a fresh perspective. Meanwhile, Rep. Mary Dye, ranking Republican, provides her invaluable Eastern Washington insights on climate change and environmental challenges facing rural communities.
Despite differing political affiliations and backgrounds, we have diligently worked toward a common goal of finding consensus on important issues. We firmly believe that bipartisanship is crucial in paving the way toward a more sustainable and just future for Washington.
This session, we worked together to advance several bills that support clean energy, address climate change by reducing carbon emissions, and protect our natural resources. One important accomplishment was the passage of House Bill 1170, which establishes a state climate resilience strategy. We worked together to ensure it included a focus on equity and justice, recognizing that the impacts of climate change are not felt equally across our state.
We also supported House Bill 1216, which streamlines permitting processes for clean energy projects while also considering the financial resource needs and impacts of clean energy development in rural communities. Bipartisan support also sent House Bill 1173 to the governor’s desk, requiring utility-scale windfarms to install new technology that turns off flashing lights at night when no aircraft are present, and House Bill 1117, which ensures annual meetings of utility energy leaders to assess our grid reliability are held until 2031. By understanding these impacts, we can ensure our transition to a clean energy future is both environmentally and socially responsible.
We also worked together on water quality issues, including a bill to increase transparency around municipal wastewater system discharges to the Puget Sound. We also supported comprehensive aerial imaging of the Puget Sound marine shoreline, including privacy protections.
But it’s not just about what we accomplished; it’s also about how we worked together. As the committee chair, Rep. Doglio has shown a dedicated commitment to listening and advocating for the concerns of her Republican colleagues. Despite the partisan divide that sometimes characterizes environmental policy discussions, she has worked tirelessly to build bridges and find common ground.
Rep. Dye has worked to represent her 9th District citizens and House Republicans while advocating for environmental issues amongst her peers. The region east of the Cascades faces unique environmental challenges. By listening to and advocating for these concerns, Rep. Dye has helped ensure that the voices of all Washingtonians are heard in the policy-making process.
By taking the time to listen to our colleagues, we have been able to craft policy proposals that reflect a broader range of perspectives, create a collaborative and inclusive atmosphere, and accurately represent the needs of Washington state.
We must continue to put aside partisan politics and work together to build a more sustainable and equitable future for all Washingtonians. Finding common ground on climate change is extremely important for both sides of our state. By collaborating across party lines, we can achieve meaningful progress that benefits our communities. Let us use this Earth Day as a reminder of the importance of collaboration for all of Washington state.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia, serves the 22nd District and chairs the House Environment and Energy Committee. Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, serves the 9th District and is the ranking Republican on the committee.