State Senator Curtis King—chair of the Transportation Committee—wrote an editorial that appeared in the Everett Herald on Sunday in which he explains why Jay Inslee’s “greener” fuel mandate is simply not worth the risks. King writes,
“Inslee’s attempt to build a case for further limiting our state’s carbon production began when he took office. He started with a bipartisan group of legislators, until some questioned the effect his ideas could have on family budgets and jobs. Inslee disbanded the group and began suggesting his environmental policies would be best implemented not through laws but by decree.”
Pointing out Inslee’s track record of moving forward with his extreme environmental agenda via executive order, King explains our green governor’s determination to see his fuel mandate fulfilled. King,
“Because carbon is seen as the primary cause of climate change, and motor vehicles are the primary source of carbon emissions, the governor is looking to have Washington follow California toward a low-carbon fuel standard — basically, to require a new motor-fuel formula that reduces carbon emissions.”
How does our green governor propose to develop a new motor-fuel formula that reduces carbon emissions? As Shift has pointed out in the past, through his flawed ideas concerning cellulosic biofuel. King writes,
“No less than 50 companies (in other states) have been competing to develop such a fuel. The strongest candidate is a non-food-based ethanol product called cellulosic biofuel. In a sort of “if I declare a cap on carbon production, they will come” way, Inslee apparently foresees three cellulosic-biofuel plants being built in Washington.
The trouble is, $3.3 billion in research grants and over $1.9 billion in other investments have yet to make cellulosic biofuel commercially viable. The huge startup costs required have caused 22 firms to go under already.”
Finally, as King points out, even if researchers manage a cellulosic-biofuel breakthrough, it would not be enough to negate the cost of a fuel mandate to working families. King,
“…Researchers, including the governor’s, agree you and I will pay more at the pump. By how much no one knows, but predictions run from 2 cents to more than a dollar extra. And, it’s interesting to note that the 2-cent possibility only came after two other governor-requested studies’ projections were much higher. Considering the average Washington motorist purchases more than 395 gallons of fuel annually, doesn’t Inslee owe the people a more precise estimate? …
Does the governor truly believe families and employers can afford to and will gladly shell out perhaps a dollar per gallon more for fuel, when our state’s carbon emissions already rank eighth-lowest per capita among the states and represent less than a quarter of 1 percent of the world’s total output?”
Of course, the answer to King’s question is “Yes.” Inslee would have working families pay more of their paychecks for fuel if it meant he could make virtually no impact on the world’s carbon emission because, in the words of Inslee, he “believes what he believes.” And, while his heavy burden on working families would make no impact, Inslee would earn himself the title of our nation’s “greenest governor”—little does he know, he has already earned that title… just not in the way he wants.
King wraps-up his editorial by calling for Inslee not to pursue his agenda via executive order, but to respect the legislative process. He writes, “…the hard-working families and employers in all corners of Washington deserve to see the cards in Inslee’s hand, and have an opportunity to weigh in with their legislators regarding the risks a low-carbon fuel approach would represent to their jobs and budgets.”