Jay Inslee saw his liberal green agenda ignored by both parties in the recent state legislative session, so he has decided to move forward on his “green” agenda with an executive order. Except, instead of jamming through his gas-price raising fuel mandate, our “green” governor is optinginstead toward moving on the cap-and-tax scheme that his fellow Democrats would not even vote on in the state House.
By opting for a cap-and-tax approach rather than a fuel mandate, Inslee avoided triggering the consumer protection provision in the recently passed transportation package, which would have taken away funds from transportation projects favored by his far-left friends.
On Tuesday, Inslee directed his staff to “develop a cap on emissions of greenhouse gases so Washington can meet its commitment to cut 1990-level emissions in half by 2050.” Inslee is seeking to bypass the state Legislature to impose a cap-and-tax under the state’s Clean Air Act.
Inslee’s original cap-and-tax scheme threatened to reduce the average annual employment by approximately 56,000 jobs over the next 20 years. Nearly 6,000 of those jobs would have been in the manufacturing sector. The study also found that the total aggregate income for workers and business owners would have been reduced by an annual average of $3.1 billion per year. That figure, divided by total Washington households, is equivalent to a reduction of $1,200 in annual income per household.
The average household could have expected an increase in gasoline, natural gas and electric bills by nearly $60 a month—and that figure does not include the indirect cost increases in consumer goods, such as groceries.
The new cap-and-tax approach will differ slightly from Inslee’s original cap-and-tax scheme—a regulatory disaster both Republican and Democrat lawmakers rejected. However, a new cap-and-tax scheme will not change the reality that it will cost working families and hurt our state’s economic well-being—cap-and-tax schemes have a record of doing that. The News Tribune,
“The state’s version of the Clean Air Act allows the Department of Ecology to set emissions standards, and Inslee directed the agency to use that authority on carbon emissions. The authority doesn’t extend to raising revenue or auctioning off credits, although emitters might still be able to trade credits in some way, his office said.
“Still to be decided is who would be covered under the plan. Inslee’s original legislative proposal covered about 130 large facilities and fuel distributors that cause the release of more than 25,000 metric tons of heat-trapping gases in a year. It would have made exceptions for industries such as agriculture.”
In order to jam through a cap-and-tax scheme, Inslee has decided to impose it by executive order. He failed to garner enough support for the scheme to pass it out of the state Legislature. The Democrat-controlled state House refused to even bring the cap-and-tax scheme to a vote.
It is clear that Inslee is rushing to save face after his many legislative failures. And, he is such an ineffective leader that the only way he can pass his agenda is by forcing it on the state. So, that’s exactly what he is doing.
Our green governor signaled that he would not give up on his extreme “green” agenda prior to the end of the legislative session. In June, without legislative involvement or public comment, Inslee signed an agreement that calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The agreement included 11 other states and providences in the United States, Mexico, Europe and Canada.
Inslee’s new cap-and-tax rule must go through a year or more of development. The Seattle Times reports that the scope of the forthcoming rules is yet unclear. However, Inslee’s administration promised the process would be “open and transparent” and include public input.
Of course, Inslee’s definition of “transparent” is a bit different from everyone else’s. Inslee promised his Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force (CERT) would be open and transparent—it proved to be anything but. Inslee’s track record concerning his extreme environmental agenda has been secretive. It was only due to a Shift investigation that Inslee was forced to admit he had even agreed to a fuel mandate scheme with his rich donors.
Inslee’s plan to impose a cap-and-tax scheme by executive order will face legal opposition. Critics have questioned the legality of Inslee’s executive order. GOP state Sen. Doug Ericksen said of Inslee’s announcement, “I don’t think he has the ability to do it via rule.”
Further proof that Inslee really is our nation’s greenest governor.