UPDATE! As of July 8, organizers have collected 546,002 signatures for this ballot initiative—the second-largest signature-gathering effort in Washington state in the last 50 years!

Organizers of the Initiative-2066 signature gathering campaign announced they received enough signed petitions to qualify for the Nov. 5 election. 

“We are pleased that our signature-gathering efforts for I-2066 have already produced over 430,000 signatures in just 46 days – 100,000 signatures over the required number to qualify an initiative for the November ballot,” said Washington Hospitality Association President and CEO Anthony Anton. 

Our coalition believes we could have as many as 500,000 signatures by Friday. The extra signatures show that public enthusiasm is high. They also ensure that there will be enough signatures to qualify the initiative once officials validate them. 

I-2066 would ensure that residents and businesses across the state continue to access natural gas as a power source for heating, cooking and more. It would also protect people and businesses from being forced to switch to electric power.  

For hospitality businesses, many of whom are still strapped with significant debt from COVID, the cost of converting equipment, wiring and replacing panels for the higher electric load will rise to six figures for most operators and over a million for hundreds of others. 

The initiative is in response to House Bill 1589, passed by the Legislature earlier this year. The bill requires Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to develop a plan to electrify all current uses of natural gas and authorizes the Utilities and Transportation Council to codify that plan into law. It also allows PSE to raise rates on all ratepayers to finance that transition — leading to higher costs and a forced move from natural gas.   

“When the Legislature passed HB 1589 this year, they authorized Puget Sound Energy to decide which customers will no longer receive natural gas, forcing a transition to all-electric through ‘targeted electrification.’ This is a ban on natural gas and is an unacceptable policy for the hospitality industry,” Anton said.  

“We believe voters in Washington state will support I-2066, which retains the energy choice they need, supports thousands of businesses and will restore the regulation of a private utility company. I-2066 will prevent state, local and unelected regulatory bodies from adopting similar policies across the state.”