House Republicans Fight Against Low-Carbon Fuel Mandate

[AUDIO] After more than five hours of debate, a measure that would create an expensive new low-carbon fuel standard mandate in Washington passed the state House of Representatives on Saturday, with all Republicans voting no. Washington House Republicans’ John Sattgast reports.

SATTGAST: (:69) House Bill 1091 would require refineries to reduce the carbon content of their fuel or buy credits. The new mandate could drive up the price of gasoline by 57 cents per gallon, and diesel by 63 cents.

Representative Mary Dye is the ranking Republican on the House Environment and Energy Committee.

DYE: “It will increase the cost of fuel by a lot. And Washingtonians are wondering what are they getting for that extra cost? It’s an economic policy that makes it harder for everyday Washingtonians to get ahead. And this bill just layers on an additional expense – the highest cost carbon mitigation and the lowest reduction in carbon emissions. And it doesn’t really achieve the goal that it intends.”

SATTGAST: The bill authorizes the Department of Ecology to run a program that issues deficits and credits to fuel producers to incentivize lower carbon in gasoline and diesel. Opponents say that would create “winners” and “losers” in the fuel market – and drive up costs. Republicans spent hours debating against the measure and offering amendments to reduce its hardships on timber, agriculture, and others, but most amendments were rejected, and the bill passed 52 to 46. The measure now goes to the Senate.

John Sattgast, the state Capitol.