Just in time for the last few weeks of his re-election campaign, Jay Inslee has finished jamming through by executive rulemaking his “carbon rule” that will hurt Washington’s economy for years to come – all while doing virtually nothing to satisfy Inslee’s goal of reversing climate change.
As the Associated Press reports, “Washington state adopted a new rule Thursday to limit greenhouse gas emissions from large carbon polluters … State environmental regulators finalized a rule requiring large industrial emitters to gradually reduce carbon emissions over time. The change will cover power plants, oil refineries, fuel distributors, pulp and paper mills and other industries.”
What is left unsaid by Inslee’s regulators is that Washington State is responsible for a miniscule amount of the world carbon emissions – by Inslee’s own admission, less than one-tenth of one percent – and that about half of our emissions are from the transportation sector, which is not covered (yet) by Inslee’s rulemaking.
So, even though this is a feel-good measure that doesn’t accomplish its stated goal, it will have impact. Again, from the AP: “Businesses and others say the new rule will hurt working families, as costs are passed on to consumers; hamper the state’s ability to attract and retain businesses; and limit the ability of energy-intensive businesses to compete globally.”
Inslee’s regulatory overreach was driven by his anger at being unable to previously convince Democrats – and Republicans – in the legislature to support cap-and-trade scheme he proposed to raise a billion dollars in new taxes. So, he drafted – and re-drafted – a rule that is destined to fail, in part because Inslee can’t get fellow Democrat governors, like Jerry Brown in California, to cooperate with Washington’s heavy-handed approach.
The money at stake is not insignificant. “An updated state economic analysis indicates the costs for all businesses to comply over 20 years range from a low of $410 million to a high of $6.9 billion, depending on the way they comply.”
That’s the potential outcome, all so Jay Inslee can say he is the “greenest governor in America”.
And that’s a pretty big price to pay for Washingtonians who will suffer under the carbon rule, while other states take advantage of the economic damage inflicted on us by Inslee.