Jay Inslee’s carbon rule (which he planned to impose on our state via executive order) was scrapped by the state Department of Ecology recently. But, unfortunately, that just means this extreme “green” plan will be recycled, instead of thrown away like the garbage that it is to everyone but Inslee.
Ecology officials have made it clear that they pulled the rule in order to make changes to it. Ecology Director Maia Bellon tweeted they were “keeping the momentum going.”
The existing carbon rule carried the obvious consequence of companies simply leaving the state and doing business elsewhere due to increased costs imposed by Inslee. But, as the Washington Policy Center’s Todd Myers points out, there were a number of serious problems with the carbon rule beyond even the economic implications.
Inslee had promised that a carbon rule in Washington “would look to link with the cap-and-trade systems in California and the Northeast, known as RGGI for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.” Only, that didn’t happen. Myers explains:
“E-mails at the end of January indicate [Ecology] still had not made progress on working out the issues related to linking to the RGGI system.
“Without connections to the California or RGGI markets, Washington manufacturers could see very high costs to meet the carbon reduction targets. Linking, however, could mean taking credits away from companies in California and the Northeast, increasing their costs of compliance.”
Remember, Inslee insisted on the release of an expedited carbon rule (presumably because he wanted to jam it through before the end of his first term). The haste in which the carbon rule was produced made it inferior in quality. In the end, it’s an example of how far Inslee is prepared to go for his extreme “green” agenda, sacrificing even the economic wellbeing of our businesses in our state so he can brag about his green legacy.
If Inslee does attempt to jam through any future carbon rule by executive order, he will face serious legal challenges. Republican state Senator Doug Ericksen does not believe Inslee has the authority “to pursue those regulations without the Legislature’s approval.” Any future carbon rule would be put to a legal test.
And we all know that Inslee is not exactly an ace on tests.