• Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce

Affordable, Reliable Energy: Washington Employers Need Natural Gas as Part of the Mix

Updated: Feb 28

from AWB.org

Reliable and affordable energy is one of Washington’s main competitive advantages.


The state’s diverse energy portfolio — which includes hydro, wind, solar, nuclear and natural gas — has helped Washington’s economy grow into one of the strongest in the country.


But legislation under consideration in the Legislature would restrict the use of natural gas in Washington, raising concern among employers about their ability to compete. And efforts to restrict natural gas could drive up energy costs for consumers and businesses in a time of rising inflation.


“There would be significant, unintended consequences, and I think the first thing you’d find out of the gate is just this huge economic loss,” Jim Seley, CEO of Feed Commodities, said in a new AWB Amplified report. “You’re going to have industries shutting down, and the reason I say that is because there’s just no infrastructure in the area to deliver an alternative type of fuel to supply these businesses with.”


The bills being considered include: 1766/5668, 1767/5666, 1770/5669 and 1774/5722.a


Justin Stiefel, CEO of Heritage Distilling Co., founded the firm in 2012 in Gig Harbor. It now employs 115 people in outlets on both sides of the Cascade Mountains, including a new distillery and tasting room in the Tumwater Craft District. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB).

“Natural gas is one of the cleanest and most efficient sources of energy for production on the industrial level,” said Justin Stiefel, CEO and co-founder of Heritage Distilling Co.


Natural gas provides 15 percent of our state’s electricity, and provides critical baseload power during the coldest, darkest and hottest days of the year. Natural gas is also used to dry crops, produce fertilizer, heat apartment buildings and fuel the restaurant industry. Many employers say Washington should take advantage of all energy options, including conventional and renewable sources, to power our economy.


“To place restrictions on that, or to try and phase that out…in a pace that’s too fast, I just think we need to really be careful,” said Adam Davis, business agent of Local 26 Plumbers and Steamfitters.


AWB’s Energy Committee is following this issue, and your voice can make a difference. To learn more contact Peter Godlewski at PeterG@awb.org.