Log truck drivers came to the state Capitol from throughout Washington Monday to protest a Democratic House-approved low carbon fuel standard bill that is now under consideration in the Senate. They worry that a boost in diesel fuel prices resulting from the bill could put them out of business. Washington House Republicans’ John Sattgast reports from Olympia.
SATTGAST: Nearly 40 trucks are parked out in the diagonal facing the state Capitol building. One with a crane lifted way high that says, “We oppose House Bill 11-10.” The measure could eventually raise diesel prices by as much as 63 cents per gallon.
HOGAN: “Everything is either harvested, farmed or transported with diesel fuel.”
SATTGAST: That’s Mike Hogan, a trucker from Port Townsend.
HOGAN – CLIP2: (:03) “You raise the tax, the price goes up. Where does it stop?”
SATTGAST: Hogan says they’ve had enough. That’s why truckers came to Olympia in force to protect their jobs and their families.
HOGAN: “Each one of these trucks represents somewhere between 800 and 15-hundred dollars a day in lost revenue, plus the fuel that’s spent to come here today. Every man that’s come here with their vehicle today has come at huge sacrifice to himself, just to be here to represent our side of what needs to be done.”
SATTGAST: 19th District Republican Representative Jim Walsh from Aberdeen represents one of the largest timber areas of the state and opposes the bill.
WALSH: “They’ve tried these low carbon fuel standards in other states – notably California to our south – and it doesn’t do anything for greenhouse gas emissions. So it really doesn’t do anything. It just generates more money for Olympia. And Olympia has not been kind to small businesses recently.”
SATTGAST: Hogan says truckers are just trying to persevere and make a living.
HOGAN: “With everything that’s gone wrong in this nation, we’re still here to work. We can only hang on for so long.”
John Sattgast, Olympia