Public records investigation uncovers truth behind Inslee’s gas-tax scheme


Jay Inslee has been in the news recently, from his fruitful (read campaign $$$) friendship with California billionaire Tom Steyer, to his Executive Order establishing a task force to consider how to raise the state’s gas tax by more than $1 to make people like Steyer happy with him, to an appearance next Monday on Showtime to highlight him being a “green” (read “inexperienced”) chief executive.

What Inslee had hoped people wouldn’t be seeing in the news is how he misled the legislature, the media and the general public about his plans to use his executive powers to impose a “low carbon fuel standard” (LCFS, or read “gas tax”) on Washington motorists. Yet, after waiting over three months for his office to comply with a public records request, SHIFT has uncovered the truth about Inslee’s plans.

It turns out that – contrary to what has been publically said repeatedly – Inslee and his staff had promised their partners in the Pacific Coast Collaborative (the Governors of California and Oregon, and the British Columbia Premier) that Washington would “establish LCFS by administrative rule” in “Q1 2015”. That target date was listed in a working draft (PDF) for the PCC that has not been released previously.

However, that promise is something which Inslee has denied in several high-profile ways. He said at a January forum hosted by the Associated Press that “we have not made a decision on it (a LCFS).” And in a letter attacking State Senate Republicans for questioning his plans to impose his gas-tax scheme, Inslee wrote “That you say I have to “come clean” implies I have in some way been hiding my intentions. This is offensive and untrue.”

Inslee also used his senior staff to push out his false narrative. Spokesman David Postman said in January of this year that “No decision has been made about fuel standards, and much work and analysis has to happen before any decision is made about which policies should be pursued to reduce carbon pollution.” Yet Postman, a former journalist, was well aware that was not a true statement, given the PCC promises, as he was the media contact on the day the agreement was announced last Oct. 28, and was on several emails leading up to the development of the agreement.

Staff at the Department of Ecology were also involved in helping Inslee mislead the public, as Stuart Clark (manager of the agency’s air-quality program) was the person charged with making changes to the “Workplan Template” that featured the LCFS promise, including moving the target date for Inslee’s administrative action to impose his gas tax until after this fall’s elections. This is the same Stuart Clark who told a reporter in January that Ecology had not considered its ability to impose such a policy since Chris Gregoire was in the Governor’s office four years ago: “That is as far as we have looked at it,” Clark says. “It is a major policy issue if you do something like this, and we certainly want to take our direction from the governor’s office before we move forward.”

Getting to the truth required sifting through some 2,000 pages of emails and work plans which the Governor’s office had been dragging its feet on releasing until after the legislature adjourned this year. More revelations will be forthcoming as we continue our investigation about Jay Inslee’s willingness to say one thing in public and something else in private when it suits his extreme environmental political agenda.

Of course, one person who knew all along about Inslee’s promise to do what he had been saying publically he was not planning to do was his billionaire buddy from San Francisco, Tom Steyer. Records show that Steyer hosted Inslee for an “intimate dinner” on the evening that the PCC agreement was announced on Oct. 28.

  • Robert Zornes

    Gee, who woulda thunk Jay Inslee wouldn’t want more money to spend on so-called “green energy” and sidling up to a billionaire and other large philanthropists surely wouldn’t mean he might get more campaign funds, would it?

    • bernie

      Yeah man, it’s not like the oil companies have any money to maintain the status quo. Anybody wants to protect the environment for future generations is morally corrupt!

      • Tom Sharples

        If you “want to protect the environment for future generations” you better look at China and India, since that’s where the real pollution problems lie. Here in WA state we are already much cleaner than most anywhere else and contribute virtually nothing to global pollution. So why penalize the WA state middle class with this kind of feel-good nonsense?

        • Bernie

          Actually, you better look at the United States first. We are the biggest historic emitter and we have the responsibility to lead. This is not an issue we can expect to get better in the future by throwing up our arms in the air and saying it’s someone else’s problem to solve. We are still number two in global emissions today and have far smaller populations than both India and China. It is our moral obligation to act, and moreover these are more than feel good measures. Protecting the environment can actually be good for business, believe it or not! Saving water, saves money. Cutting energy waste lowers energy bills! Making commerce more efficient cuts emissions and lowers production costs!

          • Tom Sharples

            We may have been the biggest historic emitter – but that’s ancient history. The vast majority of toxic particulate pollution now comes from China, India, etc. nnWhat you’re suggesting is the same thing as painting your freshly painted house again and again, because the neighbor down the street refuses to paint his!nn And all the brain-dead eco-rhetoric in the world, doesn’t change the reality: we are already doing way more than our fair share, and adding more taxes to the already struggling middle class in WA state does NOTHING to address the real problem.

          • Bernie

            No our emissions history is still relevant. Carbon stays in the atmosphere for decades. What we pumped into the atmosphere decades ago is causing an impact now. Moreover, China and India have four to five times as many people as the United States. Per person, they are far more resource efficient than us. You also need to keep in mind that a good portion of the industrial emissions from Asia are to make products sold in the United States. And the U.S. is still number #2 in the world! It’s not like we’re #10 or 20.

          • 23x125TT

            Moral obligation, you say?nI do not think the words mean what you think they mean.

        • 23x125TT

          Because it’s all about feeeeeelings….

      • inlovewithfreedom

        Bernie, go drink your Kool Aid man………Liberty isn’t for sissies like you.

        • reewa

          The stench of his Kool Aid breath is already overwhelming.

        • Bernie

          oh sorry, you’re right guys. I don’t deserve freedom because I can think for myself and express my own opinion. Liberty is for people who accept the status quo and don’t dare to question things. How could I have been so mistaken!

  • Marsha S

    Caught with his hand in the wealthy cookie jar. What I find so offensive is that these politicians work for us. Yet, they have their own agenda. They hide their plans from us like we are the enemy. (well maybe we are if we stop them from doing what they want to further their careers). It is time to take back our power. The more people who know what the Governor is trying to do the better. Passing on to all I know. Please, do the same..

  • Ken

    Recall Him, It is a lot of work but I believe it will be worth it. All the petition would take to put it on the ballot is 25 % of the voters in the last general election to sign.

    • rodneytom

      Agreed, how do we start?

      • Bernie

        You’re right, let’s call the Governor who wants to create a 21st Century clean energy economy and protect future generations from the damage of climate change. How dare he have a moral compass! Big Oil has served us so well and we can’t shake things up. We should stick our head in the sands. Science is for sissies!

        • Robert Beckwith

          There is NO CLIMATE CHANGE ! No man made GLOBAL WARMING !Only weather. There is no “SETTLED SCIENCE” on this; matter of fact, it is the antithesis of science! Sounds like you’re the one with their “head in the sands”! Pay attention to something besides the party line! The evidence that it is a political scam has been out there for several years; constantly reciting the mantra above will not change the facts!

          • PacknGpaw

            You have it Robert. Why else change from Global Warming to the newspeak Climate Change? Only because they were so wrong about Global Warming. This is about money, not about the climate or the fact this is a carbon based planet. Follow the money. Its just a way for government to get their hands on more of OUR money. Tell the to get their hand out of your wallet!

          • libtarded

            as the left was wrong about the “population bomb” (people starving to death in the 60’s), or the “coming ICE age” of the late 70’s (where pollution “soot” would reflect heat from the planet), or Glow-bull Warming in the 90’s (where a gas that accounts for 0.2% of the atmospheric heat retention would “tip” the planet into a runaway greenhouse)

          • Bill Vancouver

            For those who want to increase their knowledge of climate science, I suggest digesting the following: Climate Change Critical Thinking – US Senate EPW Committee Minority Report 9/4/14

          • libtarded
          • Army Vet 4444

            That document is JUST propaganda direct from the staff of the WH!!! What a crock of CRAP!!!

          • 23x125TT

            There’s the newest newspeak, “Climate Chaos.” Try to keep up man!

        • wysoft

          Then I suppose you and Inslee would support construction of additional nuclear plants in Washington state? Maybe stop the talk of demolishing additional Columbia river dams? No? Then it’s all just talk, a mountain of buzzwords to justify another massive tax hike to dump into the Washington general fund, like every other tax hike in this state is treated.nn”21st Century clean energy economy” has worked out real well for California – highest deficit of any state in the nation, and a fleeing population of workers and businesses.nnSay goodbye to Boeing if this is implemented – and many others.

          • bernie

            Please make sure you don’t come up with ‘facts’ that aren’t actually true. California ended the 2011-12 budget cycle in a surplus. Ouch! And please explain to me what is causing the ice caps to be melting and the oceans to be acidified and global temperatures to be rising if not carbon emissions. Or are you in the camp that denies our climate is changing? And if you’re going to attribute the changes to ‘natural causes’ then explain what the natural causes are and how they are impacting the planet (this can be measured too!). And while you’re at it, please explain what you make of direct scientific experiments that prove carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Before I debate you further or even go into my positions on nuclear or hydro, I need to know specifically what you’re arguing.

          • Robert Beckwith

            “Please make sure you don’t come up with ‘facts’ that aren’t actually true.” I need to know specifically where you’re getting these “facts” and why they don’t mesh with reality. Also, you might check out Agenda 21, the blueprint for achieving increased income to governments thru global warming/climate change scare tactics. As to direct scientific experiments that “prove carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas”-how is that done on a large enough scale for the entire planet? And computer climate models extended into the future cannot possibly take into account all the variables- including the sun (which seems to not be taken into account at all)? And how does designating cheap hydro-electric power generation as non-renewable, help in the global warming “Doom” scenario. I am at a complete loss why people embrace all this with such glee and even anger at “deniers”.-30

          • Army Vet 4444
          • Bernie

            oh yeah, and one more thing, explain how you expect your nuclear power plant dream to be paid for? You are clearly opposed to public financing of energy projects. And in that case, who if not the government will finance the construction of nuclear power plants?

          • wysoft

            I didn’t say that I was against public financing of energy projects, ESPECIALLY if the result is dramatically reduced cost for WA state energy buyers.nnnDon’t forget that the state already tried to subsidize and build a reactor system in the 1970s (WPPS or “Whoops”), but failed miserably due to design errors, cost overruns, and construction delays.nnnIf the state hadn’t bungled WPPS, Washington would have a massive energy surplus of both hydro and nuclear energy, and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.nnnTherefore there is limited trust among many of those older residents in the state, when the state proposes creation of new energy sources on their dime.

          • Army Vet 4444

            What the Governmnet doesn’t want you to know, is that nuclear power HAS NEVER been a cost effective means for producing power. Not once, not ever anywhere in the world. Some countries are kind of backed into a corner on it, (they say) because they are land locked, and have few rivers for hydro power. But they should be good with wind power. Besides the fact that nuclear plants simply cost way too much to run, the back end is where they loose terribly!!! Getting rid of radioactive waste that doesn’t “go away” for 250,000 years is an extremely dangerous and painful and expensive refuse that taxpayers wind up paying for over and over that they never tell you about.

        • 23x125TT

          Here in the real world, we judge actions based on results, not lofty intentions.

    • jay

      I’ll be the first to sign the petition!! Lets not make Washington state look like California politics

  • marcyharris92

    Disgusting. Caught with your hand in the cookie jar this time Jay! Of course delay the pain until after the election this fall and hope everyone forgets by ’16.

  • Swed.

    Well we can stop paying these clowns to screw us.nnRecall the crooked, stupid bastard.

    • Patricia

      In a perfect world, we could recall him. But, with most of the population residing on the west side of the mountains voting Democrat and still blindly following their party down the slippery slope to Communism, it isn’t going to happen.

      • 23x125TT

        Sad but probably true.

  • donnnn

    To all those who voted for this DUMB JACKASS for governor he’s taxing all of YOU for this ALSO . Too bad you can’t retrieve your vote. HIS WORD ISN’T as GOOD HIS BOND AS IT TURNS OUT. was there any question about his honesty, NO he’s a politician and they will say anything to get elected and do what ever they want when elected..

  • Coyote Lane

    Criminal. The so called “Governor” isn’t in charge. Look here, here is the best way to go after the crooks, all. Only missing point that misses in every point in America is the toilet paper money. See world earth said no more toilet paper money. Once we say that, all the people that think America has real Americans continuing to demand a real United States governed in the United States Constitutional Republics’ GOOD LAW, ah hem.nn <<nnnn <<nnnn <<nnnn <<nnuntil the problem of toilet paper money paying all the criminals to destroy their own country is addressed, then there is to continue the criminals getting lots of TP$ to be criminally insane. Pays well, Apartheid-Genocide

    • Robert Beckwith


    • Sue

      Ditto, What????

  • BAF

    So if he can implement his low carbon fuel standard by executive action, how can he be stopped? What’s the plan?

    • Serenity

      What about the Legislature standing up to the Executive? The Legislature is the law-creating power – not the Executive. Enforce that fact ! nThe Legislature should pass a bill saying that all Executive actions need be either approved or disapproved within the Legislative session following their creation. Even if the Governor vetoed it, that very storm over it would get out the word that the Executive is running wild; whereas now the mainstream ignores that reality. nnCongress should enforce it a bill like this also, but with only 30-60 days to approve or disapprove Executive actions.nThe Legislature is the people’s representative, and needs to act accordingly.

  • pisces

    Just another Dam-o-crap. Two sides of their mouth. Too many lies this party! Cannot anyone see this. Especially waiting until AFTER election. Get in- then stun them. Are we too willing to let this happen. We need a good housencleaning. Read Throw Them Out -Schweizer. Makes you sick!!!!!

  • Richard Aksamit

    What do expect from a politician that cut his teeth in DC A Obama copycat

  • Harry Seeword

    When the lack of work or wild taxation finally drives your lib friends out of the state, and they decide to move to a fresh “Red” area for a chance to start over, please remember to ask them to leave their ridiculous broken liberal ideology in the Northwest!! Thanks!!

  • Rhonda Vieth

    Aboslutely this guy needs to be recalled. If CO. can do it so can the great state of WA. Inslee smacks of Agenda21 and so do his policies. No only is he aligned with an uber liberal out of CA, Steyer, but he has distant ties to Bloomberg in NY. He should be focused on getting and keeping good jobs, decreasing illegal immigrants, de-politicizing our school systems and making life easier and less cumbersome for the people. GET yourselves interested in and take part in the National Liberty Alliance Common Law Grand Jury, there is an organizer in every county in WA. TOGETHER we can beat the established liberals at their own game and make them do what is Constitutionally right.

  • ??????………

    As long as there is a separation between the Peoples. The Dems from the Reps.The Blacks from the Whites. The Jews from the Musslems. The North against the South. The Rich from the Poor. One country against another! Etc…………. The old saying will always be true. Devide and conquer will always work!
    Buddha was right the problem is from the inside. The only problem within a human is internal. It’s the EGO! It never gets enough! And is only satisfied for a moment when it acquires what it wants. Then the next want is chaced.
    And this is true for our leaders as well as followers!

  • Jonathan Bagge

    Seems people running our state should look at past acomplishments of wanton waste of tax money. A good example is all of the concrete art along I-5. Until citizens stand up for themselves this crap is going to continue. Millions wasted because we are going too fast to see it and dont care. As long as the attitude continues of its only them coninues we will remain fractionated. Look at Inslees congressional track record. He couldnt win reelecion as a representative so he came back. Too bad, shoulda stayed back east.

  • Nope

    I have gas.

  • Pomegranny

    I did not vote for him. He is a moron. Still pushing for his gas tax in 2015, too.

  • Army Vet 4444

    I keep telling everyone here in Washington, but they have all been drinking too much of the liberal kool-aid for way too long. No one will listen.

  • Dawn Appelberg

    I am trying to find out if the recall action is still active. We need to move forward publicly with this.