Preventing a regressive, costly fuel mandate
House Democrats passed a controversial low-carbon fuel standard mandate off the House floor on a 52-44 vote on January 29, 2020. They passed the same bill off the House floor in the 2019 legislative session, but it died in the Senate that year.
House Bill 1110 would:
- Authorize the state Department of Ecology to create a clean fuels program, by rule, to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels per unit.
- Eliminate the consumer protection provision in the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation plan that stated if a low-carbon fuel standard is adopted, by rule, money would shift from other transportation accounts into the motor vehicle account.
According to the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Fuels Analysis Final Report (September 2019), the new program could:
- Raise the cost of gas by up to 57 cents per gallon by 2030.
- Raise the cost of diesel by up to 63 cents per gallon by 2030.
- Result in job losses.
- Reduce Gross Regional Product.
House Republicans also believe the new program would:
- Be an expensive and unaccountable state bureaucracy.
- Do very little to benefit our environment and air quality.
- Not generate any new revenue for transportation infrastructure projects.
- Increase the cost of construction and add to the cost of housing – at a time when our state has an affordable housing problem.
An outside perspective from Todd Myers at The Washington Policy Center:
- Data show LCFS’s air pollution reduction benefits the rich, not poor
- Low-carbon fuel standard won’t reduce air pollution. So, why do greens want it so badly?
- Low-carbon fuel mandate wastes more than 9 out of every 10 dollars
- The cost of Oregon’s low-carbon fuel mandate more than doubled in 2019