The legislative special session, a billion dollar shortfall and other financial issues have not stopped Gov. Inslee and state officials from going ahead with spending $350,000 on hiring a climate change consultant.

In 2008, the Democratic-controlled state legislature passed legislation requiring the state to come up with ways to meet a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.   They would have to meet levels that were supposedly found in 1990.

Despite the complete collapse of the world-wide and U.S. national cap-and-trade system (which has been all but abandoned by numerous other states)  Inslee's Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup has pushed ahead, and now selected a Virginia firm for the job.

The consultant will be tasked with trying to find a gas emissions plan that would work in Washington state,  and supposedly create workable legislative actions towards that goal by 2014.

Inslee has long since tried to establish himself as an authority on climate change, and he got his bill and consultant.

By the way, $350,000 would have covered the salvage costs incurred by the state in getting rid of the wreckage of the I-5 bridge that collapsed a few weeks ago.