Ben Smith: Governor! Thanks for doing this. Can you send over a selfie, and share what you’re up to right now?
Governor Jay Inslee: Headed to Goldendale, Washington to celebrate opening of our state’s largest renewable bio-fuels facility. Waste to energy — cleanly.
BS: I think the people will want selfie evidence.
JI: Out of pocket for 40 minutes.
BS: No rush - we can go back and forth through the day.
JAY INSLEE SENDS BEN A PHOTO OF A MOUNTAIN.
JI: Just passed over the yawning crate of our youngest volcano Mount St. Helens. When we do things in Washington, we do them big, including volcanoes. This was the largest landslide on earth in recorded history. Now we are working to preserve our glaciers from the ravages of climate change.
BS: Oh - you’re on a plane? Wow.
JAY INSLEE SENDS BEN A SELFIE OF HIMSELF WITH HIS FRIEND.
JI: Landed in the Dalles and headed to the Randle the site of the plant. Here with old friend Bob Guenther former leader of the IBEW and now executive Vice president of the Washington Labor Council. Bob has long been an advocate for clean energy jobs with strong union participation and his leadership in getting these clean energy construction projects going is most admirable. After this visit in Randle, we’ll be going to the pumped storage project later near Goldendale.
BS: So how is life after the campaign? Any slower?
JI: No not slower! We only need one speed. Life is good, in part because we have so many dynamic and promising missions to work on, as our two projects today demonstrate.
BS: Let me ask you a question about the other Democrats, this Climate Week. They are now saying quite similar things on climate policy. Are there important differences among them?
JI: Yes there are very distinct differences. The most pivotal are those relating to the adoption of binding regulatory measures that will give us high confidence in eliminating fossil fuel usage, and thereby, elimination of co2 pollution. Concrete, verifiable, enforceable measures are absolutely necessary to achieve the rate of decarbonization required by the new scientific data demonstrating the short window of opportunity we have to save ourselves. Several of the candidates have released plans on climate and we should judge them on this score. I was particularly pleased to see Senator Warren’s adoption of the binding requirements because they are comprehensive and enforceable. On this, however, we all ought to assess who actually is willing to invest the political capital required to get this job done. It is good to see more candidates embrace my position of eliminating the filibuster so we can move the ball in the Senate. Several senators in the race are still wedded to the filibuster and that spells doom for climate change legislation. You know who you are folks!
BS: You made the call to drop out of the campaign while you were getting really positive attention - but it was pretty clear you wouldn’t be the nominee. Do you have any advice for the other candidates who aren’t getting much traction right now?
JI: I am not professionally licensed to give such advice to candidates, but if I were, I would advise them to do what they think is best for their country. I could also tell them there are many ways to serve not just as president.
JAY INSLEE SENDS BEN A PHOTO OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER
JI: The Columbia River and it’s gorge are so beautiful, so it is most painful to realize that it’s waters were so hot last year that thousands of salmon died in the river. The plants we are dedicating today offer a way forward in that was of saving this river from climate change. Clean energy = more fish.
JAY INSLEE SENDS BEN A PHOTO OF WIND TURBINES
JI: Wind turbines not causing cancer jobs today, causing jobs.
BS: You are a hard man to distract from his cause -- and this climate travelogue is amazing content, as we say.
BS: I do need your view on one pressing question about your campaign. What did you make of all the commentary on...your appearance?
BEN SMITH SENDS JAY INSLEE A TWEET FROM @COREYINNYC THAT READS: INSLEE: HOT, COOL, SMART, DAD
ANOTHER TWEET FROM @RAINEE THAT READS: LISTEN GUYS I SEE ALLLLL OF @JAYINSLEE’S MENTIONS AND Y’ALL ARE WILDIN’ OUT. I SEE YOU [EYES EMOJI] BUT PLS STOP CALLING HIM ZADDY I AM SHOOK. #BAEINSLEE.
JI: Any positive comment made my three sons, who have three lifetimes of ridiculing their father’s unstylish outdoor attire, completely nauseated.
JAY INSLEE SENDS BEN A PHOTO OF THE BIOFUELS PLANT
JI: This is our biofuels plant, $40 million of construction jobs, 14 permanent jobs, a nor insignificant thing in a remote community and less pollution from our vehicles. Beautiful.
JAY INSLEE SENDS BEN A PHOTO OF HIMSELF AND BOB FERGUSON.
JI: In front of the first use in the world of a cryogenic system to remove nitrogen from the useful methane harvested from one of the largest landfills in the country in Roosevelt, Washington. Conservationist and namesake Teddy Roosevelt would be pleased by this project, I believe. Terribly sad to see the current occupant of the White House try to roll back rules to reduce transportation pollution today while we dedicate a clean fuels plant in Washington. We’ll see him in court - where we have beaten him 21 times in a row thanks to our great AG Bob Freguson.
BS: You have a gorgeous state. Thanks again for doing this