March 29, 2002

To the Honorable President and Members,
The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am returning herewith, without my approval as to section 5, Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2326 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to the Washington climate and rural energy development center;"

This bill establishes the Washington Climate and Rural Energy Development Center in the Washington State University energy program. It designates that center as a clearinghouse of credible and reliable information regarding climate change and clean energy activities. Global warming and climate change are issues of profound importance, and I support this bill.

However, section 5 of the bill is unduly prescriptive would have inhibited academic freedom. The Center will be funded entirely by project grants and voluntary contributions. Accordingly, it is appropriate to provide the Center with flexibility in the kinds of grants it receives and activities it pursues.

Section 5 also would have mandated that certain state agencies provide assistance to the Center for its activities. However, the bill does not assign specific or measurable tasks to the agencies or provide funding for that assignment.

For these reasons, I have vetoed section 5 of Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2326.

With the exception of section 5, Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2326 is approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Locke