A fuel mandate is a non-starter issue, especially when it comes to passing a state transportation package. That’s why, according to sources, Oregon lawmakers—led by the “Gang of Eight”—have hammered out a compromise to repeal the state fuel mandate in order to pass a transportation package through the Legislature. The Oregonian reports,
“The four Democrats and four Republicans, evenly split between the House and Senate, met with state agency officials, legislative leaders’ chiefs of staff, and advisers to the Democratic governor.
“The group hammered out a compromise on transportation funding, ultimately agreeing to repeal Oregon’s clean fuels law in favor of other carbon-reduction measures, and to raise Oregon’s gas tax to generate an estimated $200 million a year for road repairs and other transportation projects.”
Back in February 2015, Oregon’s state Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a bill that removes the sunset provisions on the state’s current fuel mandate. Democrats chose to pass the legislation amidst the still developing scandal involving now former Gov. John Kitzhaber and the unethical influence extreme environmental organizations have on the policy-making process. The bill was rammed through without a single Republican vote. Republicans expressed frustration with the bill’s passage, particularly Democrats’ refusal to allow Oregon voters to decide whether or not they approve of the scandal-tainted legislation.
As the Oregonian points out, the dispute over whether or not to strike the compromise ultimately forced legislative Democrats to “choose between green ideals and the public’s desire for road improvements.” Additionally, it posed the “first significant leadership test for the new governor, who is widely expected to seek re-election next year and who is counting on a deal as a signature accomplishment.”
In Oregon, Democrats appear to have picked the public’s need for road improvement over extreme “green” special interests (much to the ire of the far-left). The question is, are Washington Democrats watching and taking notes.
Last week, news broke that House Democrats in the Washington State Legislature stalled negotiations on a much-needed transportation package until a state budget deal is reached. The halt on transportation talks probably has a lot to do with the Senate Republicans’ consumer protection measure that would keep Jay Inslee from using an executive order to implement his gas-price raising fuel mandate scheme. The transportation package’s consumer protection measure is critical to preventing Inslee from bypassing the state Legislature and implementing his extreme green agenda by executive order. For that reason, Inslee and his fellow Democrats have labeled the safeguard provision a “poison pill.”
If House Democrats and Inslee continue to reject the consumer protection provision as a compromise in return for what they prioritize (like giving Sound Transit more spending authority), they will prove that they are not interested in placing our state’s transportation needs ahead of their partisan interests (i.e. millions in campaign contributions granted by extreme green organizations).
Washington Democrats’ insistence on protecting their extreme green agenda at all costs (an agenda that will only put a dent in people’s pocketbooks and carbon emissions) only reveals their true priority. That’s to project their idealism—for the benefit of their reputation among major campaign donors—even at the expense of what is best for their constituents.
Let’s hope House Democrats and Inslee are paying attention to what’s happening in Oregon right now.