California billionaire Tom Steyer has long targeted Washington State as a means to his extreme environmental ends. During the 2013 election-cycle, Steyer’s money made the difference in gaining green-friendly control of the Whatcom County Council. Why did he need control of the Whatcom County Council? To ensure the death of the proposed coal-export facility, or Gateway Pacific Terminal.
Steyer’s money also managed to make the 26th LD senate race the most expensive in state history. In the end, he spent his money to no avail but that failure hasn’t stopped him. Steyer pledged to use his money and resources to gain control of the state senate in 2014. Why does Steyer need control of the Washington State Senate? To give the “Inslee-Steyer climate plan” a semblance of legitimacy by passing it through the state legislature rather than by executive order.
Secure Our Fuels, a nonpartisan organization raising awareness for the economic impacts of low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS), picked up on SHIFT’s investigation into Inslee’s relationship with Steyer and their secret plan to implement a LCFS in Washington State or, better named, the Inslee-Steyer climate plan. From Secure Our Fuels,
“Steyer funneled a half a million dollars into Washington’s last election and his people have said they are interested in spending more there this year. Now, recent documents unearthed by SHIFT Washington as well as reports by local news outlets indicate that Steyer is likely to come to the aid of his friend, Governor Jay Inslee…
What would Steyer get in return for “investing” his money in Washington State?
For one, he would get the chance to impose an “Inslee-Steyer climate plan.” Just a few weeks ago, Governor Inslee signed an executive order on climate change. This move came shortly after Governor Inslee announced at a climate conference in Seattle that he would take aggressive action on his climate agenda, even if it meant circumventing the state legislature. There, he threatened to use executive authority, a state-wide ballot initiative, or to campaign against certain lawmakers if the state legislature wouldn’t go along with his plans.
That’s where Tom Steyer’s money comes in. With control of the Washington State Senate in the balance, Inslee and Steyer hope to pick up the needed seats to push their climate agenda through the state legislature. A similar scenario is also unfolding in Oregon, where Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber is one vote short in the Oregon Senate of ensuring the Low Carbon Fuel Standard continues to be implemented beyond next year.”