Gov. Jay Inslee sounded the alarm on climate change Tuesday morning at a Capitol Land Trust fundraising breakfast that drew some 500 people to the Marcus Pavilion on the St. Martin's University campus in Lacey.
The Democratic governor sang the praises of the land trust's efforts to preserve and protect thousands of acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat and working forests and farms in South Sound, but said the work could be for naught if global warming continues at the current pace.
"The threat of climate change on critical habitat is real," he said, pointing to increased wildfires, sea level rise and elevated pH levels in Puget Sound that effects shellfish and fish. "We need to defeat climate change and I'm going to need your support."
Pressed for more details on the war on climate change in a brief interview following his talk, the governor shared few specifics, other than his oft-stated backing of research and development of clean energy. He added that he had no immediate plans to support a carbon tax, which is one of the tools some conservation groups have recommended in the war on climate change.
Inslee didn't tip his political hand on the ongoing dispute over construction of coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest to ship United States coal to China.
"There should be a full, fair and comprehensive review of all the imacts from the coal terminals," he said. "I trust our state agencies to do their job."
The governor also rejected attempts by some state legislators to tinker with Initiative-937, which requires the state's larger utilities to ramp up the amount of renewable energy in their resource portfolios.
He also voiced continued support for the 2011 legislation that phases out coal-fired energy production at the Trans Alta power plant in Lewis County by 2025.