It has been a trademark of Jay Inslee’s administration to add government regulations wherever it can to appease the special interests that poured millions into the campaign to elect him. One of the key examples of this trend has been Inslee’s so-called “Fish Consumption” rules which, if enacted, will cause serious harm to the state’s economy.
The final set of rules was submitted by Inslee’s Department of Ecology this week to President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. Only under a lame-duck president like Obama, who is looking to establish his “green” legacy, would the business community be left hoping that Inslee’s rules might be chosen instead.
As described by the Longview Daily News, Inslee’s rule is “the result of a four-year long effort to rehash how the state controls water pollution. The highly politicized effort has been closely watched by industries, municipalities, tribal groups and environmentalists.”
The key to Inslee has been how to satisfy the demands of the demands of his major campaign donors – the tribes and the environmental community – with his rules.
As the Daily News put it, “Industry and governmental agencies in Cowlitz County and across the state are worried about whether current technologies will allow them to comply with the new proposed law. At the same time, the businesses prefer the state’s proposal over an alternative federal approach that would have even tighter restrictions.”
That’s right – because the federal government has proposed a rule that cannot be met using current technologies, the Inslee rule might actually be preferable. Of course, there was a different path available last year, but because our “green” governor was upset the legislature would not follow his orders, the “latest version of the rule is stricter than the original draft rule that Ecology proposed last year. But that rule was withdrawn after Gov. Jay Inslee failed to get the Legislature to adopt new regulations on toxic pollution.
So now we get to wait on the EPA to decide whether Washington State’s economy will be hurt just somewhat by Inslee’s rules, or really hurt by the Obama administration’s approach. What a choice.