Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

WA Could Be First State to Require New Building Electrification

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Thursday, February 24, 2022   

Washington state could head to the front of the pack when it comes to electrifying new buildings. Proposals before the State Building Code Council would require high-efficiency heat pumps for space and water heating in new commercial buildings.

According to the nonpartisan organization RMI - formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute - the shift away from gas to electric would eliminate about eight million tons of carbon dioxide by 2050, equivalent to taking 1.8 million cars off the road each year.

Jonny Kocher is an associate with the clean energy think tank.

"Building electrification is one of those kind of no-brainer solutions where it's like we can actually save money both up front if the building is designed correctly," said Kocher. "The utility bills typically will either be the same or less. And then, we reduce emissions and improve health."

Skeptics of the plan point to the reliability and affordability of alternative sources to gas.

The State Building Code Council is hosting a public hearing on Friday, including testimony on potential code changes. The state updates its energy codes every three years.

Other states and cities are considering changes that would push the electrification of buildings. Kocher said if Washington approves the proposed code updates, it would become a leader on this issue.

"Even though they would be some of the strongest in the country, it's overall a very modest change," said Kocher. "We're just starting with new construction because we know that by 2050 we need to have a lot of our buildings be all electric, and if we don't start with new construction we're just going to never really get there."

Washington state cities, including Seattle, Shoreline and Tacoma, already have ensured that new buildings must be electrified.




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