Last month, Jay Inslee took his objections to SHIFT’s investigation into his extreme environmental agenda—a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that would result in a $1+ gas tax—to the radio waves. After telling everyone to “calm down,” Inslee offered assurances that he has not yet decided on any particular plan and—due to that fact—concluded that worrying about potential consequences is pointless. Inslee summed-up his un-assuring assurances with claims that there are many different ways to implement a LCFS that would not result in a $1+ gas tax and a pledge that his yet undetermined plan would “add no more than one dollar to the price of gas.”
The Washington Policy Center’s Todd Myers—an expert on environmental policy—recently took the time to respond to Inslee’s claims. Contrary to Inslee’s assertions, Myers points out that “there is a limited range of LCFS options from which the Governor can choose.” If Inslee is serious about meeting state “law” that would require a certain reduction of CO2 admissions by 2020, his options for imposing a LCFS are even scarcer.
Taking into consideration Inslee’s LCFS options and real world estimates, Myers concludes:
“Using those numbers, the total taxpayer cost to increase the biofuel mix [a LCFS] by each additional 10 percent is 23 cents per gallon. As we noted above, however, that would fall far short of the CO2 reduction targets the Governor and his supporters say are “the law.” To reach those legal targets, the LCFS would have to increase ethanol content to about 45 percent. That would increase the total added cost of an effective LCFS to $1.01 per gallon…
The Governor has made it clear that he will impose some kind of LCFS if he has his way. Given the high costs of an LCFS, however, he faces a dilemma. He can either:
– Endorse an approach that will reach the CO2 emission targets for 2020, but the cost per gallon will be very high to taxpayers between the increase at the pump and additional taxpayer subsidies for biofuel.
– Keep prices low by advocating an LCFS that falls far short of the 2020 targets and is little more than a symbolic gesture that rewards favored industries while doing little for the environment.”
The question is, which is it going to be?