Washington has quietly made logging a part of the state’s climate mitigation strategy.
From Earth Island Journal:
Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law legislation that few Washingtonians seem to be aware of. Adopted two years ago, House Bill 2528 declares logging forests to be a “solution” to the climate crisis.
Since becoming governor in 2013, Inslee has doubled down on his bet favoring shifting carbon from forests to wood products, as witnessed by how Washington’s state-owned forests are managed under his leadership. The state’s logging operations have clearcut thousands of acres of mature forests annually over the last decade, with another 3,600 scheduled for logging in 2023.
Inslee’s refusal to protect mature forests threatens to undermine his well-earned reputation as a leading climate hawk. In 2019, he ran an unprecedented, climate-centered campaign for the presidency, and early in his political career, while a member of Congress, he sponsored several unsuccessful climate bills. In 2008, he even wrote a book (Apollo’s Fire) about climate change.
But while he does see the need to convert to a clean energy economy, Inslee is betting that it’s better to store carbon in wood products like lumber and plywood rather than in standing forests.