Governor Jay Inslee announced a five-point plan Thursday to impose additional restrictions on carbon emissions he says would lead to cleaner fuels. But opponents say the only thing the governor’s proposals would clean is taxpayers’ wallets. Washington House Republicans’ John Satttgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: The centerpiece of Inslee’s proposal is legislation that would impose a low carbon fuel standard in Washington state. Critics, such as Aberdeen Republican Representative Jim Walsh, say the legislation constitutes a hidden gas tax and would not be effective in reducing greenhouse gases.
WALSH: “Low carbon fuel standards are not about making the environment cleaner. What they’re about is raising tax revenue. The governor has dug himself a billion-dollar hole with his supplemental budget. And he’s got to find that extra billion dollars somewhere.”
SATTGAST: Walsh noted that when California adopted a low carbon fuel standard, gasoline prices increased by 16 cents a gallon. He says the same fuel standard in Washington state would hurt rural families most.
WALSH: “This low carbon fuel standard is a horribly regressive tax. It cuts against poorer people and people who live farther away from urban centers. They’re going to be paying more in taxes.”
SATTGAST: The governor also wants to set lower emission standards for rideshare fleets, such as Lyft and Uber, and enact a zero-emission vehicle program in Washington state. The proposal is expected to come before the Legislature when it convenes for a 60-day session, beginning January 13th. John Sattgast, Olympia