Today is National Boss’s Day… and it’s also Thursday. So, SHIFT is honoring the occasion with a Throw Back Thursday look into Jay Inslee’s relationship with his billionaire boss down in California, Tom Steyer.
In the past, Inslee hasn’t been exactly forthcoming about his growing BFF relationship with Steyer. However, in rare moments, the truth does slip out. A highlight of this happened in August when, as SHIFT noted, there was a bit of a contrast in what Jay told the NY Times about his boss Steyer and what he told the Seattle Times.
The New York Times reported that “Mr. Steyer’s strategy is to spend heavily this fall to help defeat sitting lawmakers who oppose Mr. Inslee’s agenda and pave the way for the governor to move his policies through next year,” and that “Mr. Inslee discussed the strategy over lunch at the governor’s mansion in May with Mr. Steyer.”
Yet, when Jay’s spin doctors were asked about the May luncheon soon after it occurred (and which was only disclosed after a public records request for Jay’s calendar), they provided a different story than what would come out in August. The Seattle Times reported that Steyer had met with Jay Inslee in the Governor’s mansion, with “most of the time spent on ‘pretty technical and wonky’ aspects of climate policy. They also discussed ‘the political challenges inherent in trying to address carbon pollution’.”
However, Inslee’s office said that “there was no specific political request or plan discussed” when asked whether Steyer would be spending some of his millions to attack Senators who oppose Inslee’s gas tax-raising schemes. That spin turned out to be false.
Inslee and Steyer’s agenda for the future of Washington State is one and the same: a gas tax scheme impacting all Washingtonians who drive based on false data. As SHIFT reported, a key assumption Inslee makes concerning his gas tax scheme (known as a Low Carbon Fuel Standard, or LCFS) is wrong—very wrong. Inslee bases much of his “clean fuel” claims on the supposed “emergence of a new, purportedly less-costly and more efficient, type of biofuel called “cellulosic” ethanol.” Inslee predicted a decade ago, in his fictional story “Apollo’s Fire” (a relatively unread book that barely makes Amazon’s top million) that “About 2011 meaningful amounts of cellulosic ethanol are becoming available at service stations across the country. … cellulosic ethanol will make a rapid penetration of the market.” His prediction has proved more than just a little inaccurate. According to the Washington Policy Center,
“…There was virtually no cellulosic ethanol available in 2011. Last year, two years after Inslee’s deadline, the EPA was forced to reduce its target for cellulosic biofuel production from 6 million gallons down to 810,185 gallons because it was all that was available. To put that in context, in 2013, the United States consumed 134.51 billion gallons of gasoline according to the Energy Information Administration. Cellulosic biofuel accounted for less than 0.001 percent of total fuel consumed in the United States – about 189 seconds worth of fuel last year.”
Unfortunately, Inslee is not the type of person to let facts stand in the way of his extreme environmental agenda. That’s why he’s turned to Steyer for help. Inslee and Steyer know that the only thing truly standing in the way of implementing their costly tax increases is the Majority Coalition Caucus in the State Senate. That’s why Steyer is now attempting to remove that obstacle by pumping millions into turning the State Senate back over to Democrat control.
We all know what Steyer attempting to give Inslee: a State Senate. What remains unclear this National Boss’s Day is what Inslee will give Steyer in return.