Last month, Jay Inslee continued his relentless pursuit of implementing his extreme “green” agenda in Washington State by—without legislative involvement or public comment—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.
This isn’t the first time Inslee signed a climate change pact without legislative or public consultation. In 2013, Inslee signed a climate reduction agreement with his partners in the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC), which include the governors of California and Oregon, and the British Columbia Premier. While both agreements are non-legally binding, they grant important insight into Inslee’s extreme green plans.
A Shift investigation revealed Inslee’s true intentions for his PCC agreement. Our green governor promised his partners that Washington State would establish a fuel mandate by “administrative rule” (a.k.a. an executive order) in “Q1 2015.” Inslee has pushed to ensure the state Legislature does not block his ability to implement a fuel mandate by executive order (through the state Senate’s consumer protection provision) all session.
Inslee’s latest climate change pact ultimately represents his intention to move forward with his extreme “green” agenda—even at the expense of Washington’s working families. Inslee made his intentions clear in the appendix of the agreement. Here are two ways Inslee plans to meet the greenhouse gas emission goals outlined in his latest climate change agreement:
- Passing a cap-and-tax scheme.
Inslee has not given up on his cap-and-tax scheme. Lawmakers have already rejected his cap-and-tax scheme; Inslee refuses to accept that fact. Inslee failed to even gather enough support for his cap-and-tax scheme among members of his own party to pass it out of the Democrat-controlled state House. But, that hasn’t stopped him from calling for lawmakers to re-consider his scheme time and time again.
Inslee has and continues to claim that his cap-and-tax scheme only costs our state’s “polluters,” not working families. He sells his cap-and-tax scheme as a tax on Washington State’s “biggest polluters” who need to be punished. The list—generated by the state Department of Ecology—originally included 130 businesses like the University of Washington, Washington State University, US Army Joint Base Lewis‐McChord and Naval Base Kitsap. Of course, Inslee’s claims are far from the truth.
Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme would reduce the average annual employment by approximately 56,000 jobs over the next 20 years. Nearly 6,000 of those jobs would be in the manufacturing sector. The study also found that the total aggregate income for workers and business owners would be 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 expect an increase in gasoline, natural gas and electric bills by nearly $60 a month—that does not include the indirect cost increases in consumer goods, such as groceries.
Rather than punishing “polluters,” Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme actually punishes Washington’s working families.
- Implementing a fuel mandate by executive order.
As previously stated, Inslee made his intention to implement a fuel mandate by executive order loud and clear. Though, throughout 2013 and early 2014, Inslee and his staff denied the existence of any plan to bypass the Legislature and implement a fuel mandate by executive order. At a January 2014 forum hosted by the Associated Press, Inslee claimed not to have made a decision concerning a fuel mandate. That proved to be false. Shift’s investigation—which discovered the true intention of the PCC agreement—forced Inslee to abandon his denials and tell the truth.
It’s not hard to understand why Inslee attempted to keep his fuel mandate plans under wraps for so long. After all, there isn’t much to commend the policy. Wherever implemented, it has failed and/or led to high fuel costs. Washington State would be no exception. As Shift reported, Inslee’s own consultant estimated that his fuel mandate could result in a $1.17 gas hike. Experts agree on the probability of a $1 plus increase. Washington State’s own budget writers predicted that reaching Inslee’s defined carbon-reduction goal would add an additional $1.47 to the cost of gas.
But, that’s not all. According to a study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), Inslee’s fuel mandate would cost Washington State more than 11,000 jobs over the next five years.
The reality is Washington State emits approximately 1/10 of 1% of the world’s carbon emissions. A fuel mandate will have virtually no impact on reducing carbon emissions. But, it would raise the price of gas on working families and threaten jobs.
In the end, Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme and fuel mandate are largely ideological policies meant to advance the extreme green agenda.