Gov. Inslee’s climate-change advisers draw scrutiny as his national profile rises

As Gov. Jay Inslee presses an ambitious carbon-tax plan for Washington state, two of his climate-change policy advisers are drawing attention. One works remotely from Morocco, while the other’s job is funded through a grant by the World Resources Institute.

OLYMPIA — As Gov. Jay Inslee presses an ambitious carbon-tax plan for Washington state, two of his climate-change policy advisers have drawn scrutiny.

The attention to Inslee’s office also comes as his national profile rises. He’s been a vocal a critic of President Donald Trump, and even named as a possible contender for the Democratic presidential or vice-presidential nomination in 2020.

One Inslee staffer, Chris Davis, a senior adviser for climate and energy affairs, has been with the governor’s office since 2014 — but has recently been working remotely from Africa.

This summer, Davis moved to Morocco after his wife took a teaching job in Marrakech — and continued his work from there.

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“As our climate work has grown increasingly international in scope, the Governor asked me to continue to help build those networks from abroad,” Davis wrote in a June email explaining the arrangement to his colleagues.

Davis wrote that he would be “working remotely, managing our increasingly numerous commitments to multistate and international networks focused on climate action and clean energy.” He called his new situation “a novel arrangement.”

A Wall Street Journal editorial last week highlighted Davis’ move and questioned expenses and carbon emissions of a trip Davis made last fall from Morocco to Washington state.

“Perhaps Washington residents should ask who is paying for Chris Davis’ intercontinental carbon emissions,” the editorial said.

Davis did not immediately respond to an email Friday afternoon seeking comment.

Jaime Smith, Inslee’s executive director of communications, defended the…

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