Earlier this month, Jay Inslee’s Department of Ecology released its proposed “improvements” to its extreme carbon rule — regulations Inslee wants to jam through by executive order since the Legislature would not pass his “green” agenda.
Of course, as Shift reported, the “improvements” were not actual improvements.
Just like the previous version of his carbon rule, Inslee would still create a financial incentive for companies to suspend operations in Washington and move jobs out of state, and he would still force working families to pay more (daily) for no real benefit.
In fact, there are few substantive real changes to the original rule Ecology pulled back in March — just some pretending to be fair to industries that are already making efforts to reduce emissions. One of the most important non-improvements is the reality that Inslee’s new carbon rule still fails to link with existing schemes in California and Northeast states, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Inslee promised that his carbon rule would link to these systems. Only, as Shift reported, that didn’t happen with his initial scheme — and it did not happen with the “new” version of his rule.
Ecology actually included emissions allowances from California and RGGI states as part of the state’s first carbon rule proposed. But, both proved to be unwilling participants in Washington’s wacky scheme.
The NE enviro bureaucrats stated, “Although the RGGI states commend Washington for moving forward to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the proposal raises substantive issues relating to the potential use of RGGI allowances.” In other words, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
California reacted similarly, merely superficially indulging Inslee by stating it would “monitor” the development of a carbon rule.
California and RGGI states have no incentive to link their systems to Washington State. In fact, they have an incentive not to participate, since linking to Washington reduces emission caps for their respective programs. That risks taking credits away from companies in California and the Northeast, resulting in a supply shortage. The costs of compliance would increase as a result.
Alternatively, in Washington State, any carbon rule scheme that does not connect to the California or RGGI markets would result in very high costs for manufacturers to meet the carbon reduction targets.
So, Inslee did not succeed in garnering the cooperation with either the RGGI states or California — the first time around and the second time around. Alas, his failure hasn’t impacted his determination to impose an expensive carbon rule via executive order in the future.
Inslee’s determination proves, once again, that he is willing to sacrifice anything for his extreme “green” agenda. He won’t think twice about breaking promises and hurting our state’s economic wellbeing or working families for his carbon rule — certainly, those considerations have not stood in his way in the past.