Democrats and their supporters still refuse to work with state Senate Republicans on passing a bi-partisan transportation package. The sticking point remains the Republicans consumer protection provision, a protection that would pull funding from the items Jay Inslee and the Democrats like more than fixing our roads if he was to implement a fuel mandate by executive order. Simply put, the consumer protection provision ensures taxpayers do not face another, far more costly gas price increase because of Inslee’s unending desire to satisfy his extreme environmentalist buddies (and campaign donors).Perhaps the most outlandish argument being made against the consumer protection provision is that it would put the health of children at risk. A recent email from the Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC) reads,
“Clean air is good for our children’s health. And evidence shows that a state clean fuel standard will help decrease air pollution and improve our communities’ health.
“That doesn’t seem like a controversial statement, but right now, for many of our state legislators, it is. The Senate is threatening the governor by telling him to choose between two tools to get us cleaner air – a clean fuel standard and transit funding; they say we can’t have both!”
The EPC’s line of reasoning depends on the assumption that a fuel mandate would reduce carbon emission and thereby improve air quality. That assumption is, however, not true. The Washington Policy Center points out,
“So, what would an LCFS do to reduce CO2 and NO2? Almost nothing.
“According to the state’s own analysis:
- NO2 would be reduced by a maximum of one percent in 2026.
- Under most scenarios, particulate matter (PM2.5), another pollutant of concern, would be reduced by a maximum of one-half of one percent (0.5%), ten years from now.
- An LCFS would reduce Washington’s carbon emissions by about 2.5 percent by 2026. During the decade from 2016-2026, it would reduce emissions by less than two percent.
“In other words, the most optimistic projections show air quality changes that are meaningless in terms of human health. An LCFS simply is not a meaningful policy to reduce air pollution and improve human health…”
Unfortunately, respected organizations like the American Lung Association have lent their support to Jay Inslee’s ineffective—yet highly costly—fuel mandate scheme. The EPC email reads,
“To help spread the word on the link between clean air and a clean fuels standard, the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific just put this great ad on the air – check out the ad.
“It shows why Washington needs a clean fuel standard – less air pollution means healthier kids and a healthier Washington, all while creating jobs in our communities.”
According to a source, when American Lung Association representatives were confronted with the fact that Inslee’s fuel mandate would reduce carbon emissions by a mere .5% in ten years at a recent event, they insisted that they still support the policy. Apparently, the American Lung Association traded in its objective to help kids with asthma in order to support Democrats. Perhaps they should be called the Democrat Lung Association instead.
The real danger of a fuel mandate is that it distracts from real solutions. The Washington Policy Center,
“There are good things we can do to reduce the impact of air pollution and reduced asthma rates. For example:
- The top air pollution concern in Washington is related to particulate matter from wood burning stoves in Pierce County. There is a great program to help low-income families with wood burning stoves, replace those stoves with cleaner alternatives. Additional support for this program would have a positive impact on air quality.
- Three years ago, The Seattle Times identified a program to improve indoor air quality to reduce asthma rates. The results are very positive. As the Times noted, “Two years ago, Abraham’s room had carpeting and a filthy furnace collecting dust, which sometimes riled up his asthma. Now, without the carpet and outdated furnace, the soon-to-be seventh-grader at Chinook Middle School in SeaTac doesn’t say he has asthma, because it hasn’t bothered him in a year.”
“Those simple things would have a far more positive impact on air quality (outdoor and indoor) and asthma rate than an LCFS, even in the best case.”
The state Legislature has been forced into a second special session. Yet, rather than working toward accomplishing the people’s business, Democrats and their supporters are willing to put a transportation package at risk for what is, in the end, a purely ideological extreme “green” policy. The reality is that a fuel mandate provides little to no “environmental benefits at a cost of at least $140 million a year.” Democrats must explain to Washingtonians why that tradeoff makes sense… preferably without using exaggerated or false claims.