That loud gnashing of teeth sound you heard earlier this week was coming from Democrats across Washington—thanks to Jay Inslee putting himself, and his low carbon fuels tax scheme, on every voter’s ballot this year. If you listen closely, you can even hear some of them wailing, “Why did he bring up his $1 per gallon gas tax scheme now?”
Just as President Barack Obama did a few weeks ago (when he said to the dismay of every Democrat running in a tough race that his “policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them“), so too did Inslee make it clear—by releasing yet another draft report about his environmental agenda just a week before the election—that votes for Democrat state legislative candidates are votes for raising gas prices.
The timing of issuing this latest report had been in doubt for weeks, as Inslee’s environmental bureaucrats just didn’t seem to be able to get their stories straight. Initially they said the report would be done in September. Then, when they flubbed a rollout of their carbon tax ideas by showing projections that Inslee’s plan would cause the state’s economy to lose billions, it set this carbon fuel standards release back as they tried to fix that document. Then, they released an initial draft of Inslee’s tax scheme in early October, but didn’t include the economic portion of it.
Finally, they released the latest draft with some economic data – and promised a final report after the election. Just what worried Democrat candidates needed.
Though Inslee has made it clear throughout the campaign that his top priority is to help elect a Democrat majority in the State Senate that will support his extreme environmental agenda, he had a funny way of showing that priority by putting his higher gas price plan front and center. Inslee tried to mitigate the damage a bit by having his economists suggest that his new carbon fuels standard will only raise the price of gasoline by two cents in the next six years, but few rational people believe that prediction (especially after Inslee’s own consultants had predicted $1-plus increase earlier this year) – as environmental analyst Todd Myers put it, “Everyone is scratching their heads about how low the projections are.”
Myers had earlier punctured a hole in Inslee’s reason for even pursuing his anti-carbon agenda, pointing out that the study Inslee cited to justify his approach is flawed and dated.
Now it looks like Inslee has doubled down on bad science, just in time for the election. So much for helping Democrat legislative candidates make it through the campaign season without actually ever commenting on his plan to raise gas prices for every driver in the state.
And while voters are at it, they might also ask Democrat candidates about their support for Inslee’s cap-and-trade program, which Inslee promises is a dream come true, saying “We have a way, with a carbon pollution cap, that could in a non-injurious way produce hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue that could be used for investments in a variety of ways.”
Yeah, right – “non-injurious”, as long as you don’t mind higher taxes to give Inslee money for “investments in a variety of ways.”