There are many reasons why Mike McGinn is no longer Seattle’s Mayor. The top reason is that, even among the far-left in Seattle, McGinn was seen as just too wacky on environmental issues.
The former mayor demonstrated that tendency in a recent column he wrote for Crosscut. McGinn claims that, because his name was listed as co-author of a book (Apollo’s Fire) that no one actually read, Jay Inslee is “a serious thinker on climate.”
Rarely – if ever – do “serious thinker” and Jay Inslee appear in the same sentence.
But, McGinn’s praise of Inslee wasn’t even the wackiest part. The ex-Mayor goes on to issue three very erroneous explanations for why Inslee has failed to make any progress on his vaunted “green” agenda.
- The Republican state Senate rebuffed his (Inslee’s) proposed cap and trade system.” Wrong – the House Democrats under Speaker Frank Chopp’s control didn’t even put the cap-and-tax system up for a vote. Blaming Republicans shows McGinn’s lack of understanding of the legislative process (yet another reason he’s an ex-mayor).
- “To get a highway bill (itself a loss for climate) he (Inslee) was forced to accept a ban on carbon fuel standards that could have reduced pollution from cars.” Wrong – the bi-partisan transportation bill, which was passed in 2015 despite Inslee’s best effort to derail it, contained a consumer protection provision that prevented Inslee from imposing his tax-raising fuel standards by executive order. Inslee was not “forced to accept a ban” on his bad. Rather, he couldn’t get any Democrats to actually put the standards up for a vote. Additionally, Inslee’s own scientists had to admit that a fuels standard would not substantially reduce car emissions.
- “And just two weeks ago he withdrew his Plan B, which was executive action to regulate carbon emissions. Business was putting on the pressure and apparently uncovering flaws in the proposal.” Wrong – Inslee’s own Department of Ecology killed his “Plan B” not because of outside pressure, but because it was not ready to be released. As Shift has reported, Inslee was trying to rush the timeline on these regulations to help his re-election campaign, and that led to mistakes in the drafting of the regulations. As a side note, could someone ask McGinn why “uncovering flaws” before job-killing regulations go into effect is a bad thing?
McGinn does get one thing right in his column. He points out, “Republicans are now getting a two-fer on climate. They’re not just winning the policy fights. They’re also building the case that Inslee can’t get things done.”
Indeed, the GOP is winning against Inslee’s agenda for raising energy taxes on all Washingtonians and hurting the state’s economy with regulations that won’t achieve much environmental value. That really isn’t a hard fight to win. Even legislative Democrats are running away from Inslee on his “green” policies.
And, as for “building the case that Inslee can’t get things done,” well, the chief architect of that construction project is none other than Inslee himself – because he doesn’t have the skills required to get anything done. Just ask his fellow Democrats.