Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy Issues Statement in Response to Governor Inslee's Carbon Policy Proposal

OLYMPIA, WA--(Marketwired - Dec 17, 2014) - Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy released the following statement today in response to Governor Inslee's proposal to work toward establishing a low carbon fuel standard and impose a cap and trade program in Washington:

Governor Inslee today made it clear he is determined to impose a $1 billion "hidden tax" on Washington fuel consumers through a combination of cap and trade laws and a low carbon fuel standard.

As expected for months, the Governor officially unveiled his proposals today to impose a cap and trade program and to continue work toward establishing a low carbon fuel standard in Washington.

Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy (WCSFP) supports the goal of reducing overall greenhouse emissions in the state, a goal we already are well on our way toward achieving without hidden taxes on consumers and businesses. Working together, Washington families and businesses have reduced total CO2 emissions in the state since 1990, despite significant growth in our population and our economy. As a result, Washington has the 8th lowest CO2 emissions per capita in the nation.

WCSFP believes Washington can and will continue to make progress toward lowering greenhouse gas emissions without hidden tax schemes that will impose significant costs on consumers and serious risks to the state's economy. Incentives for commercial fleet conversions to cleaner-burning fuels like liquefied natural gas; investment in infrastructure to support electric vehicle usage; and university research into alternative fuels development and application all could be done for a fraction of the cost of what the Governor is proposing.

While details remain murky, the Governor's proposed cap and trade program and low carbon fuel standard appear to have many things in common. Both are modeled closely on programs that have encountered serious problems elsewhere. Both would require the creation of complicated and expensive bureaucracies. Both impose significant increased costs on fuel producers that will likely be passed on to fuel users, representing hidden gas taxes. And both extract money from the transportation and energy sectors to use for other purposes. 

The Governor's proposal today continues to delay a firm decision to move forward with the proposal for a low carbon fuel standard, which he refers to in his statement as a "clean fuels standard." But the continued threat to saddle Washington consumers with the cost of a regulation that is highly controversial and potentially infeasible leaves a dark cloud hanging over Washington's consumers and economy.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses, a WCFSP member organization, estimates that the low carbon fuel standard alone could cost more than 11,000 jobs in the state. "A low carbon fuel standard in Washington state would have very little positive impact on global climate change, but would have a significant negative impact on Washington small businesses still working hard to recover from the recession," says NFIB's Patrick Connor. 

Larry Pursley, executive vice president of the Washington Trucking Associations, another WCFSP member organization, added that policies like the Governor is proposing will drive up the cost of fuel production, hitting his members, their customers and ultimately consumers hard through increased operating costs.

We will continue to work closely with the Governor and Legislature to address carbon emissions in our state. But we will continue to advocate for more balanced, less costly, and less risky proposals than the Governor has put forth today.

Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy is a coalition of Washington energy consumers, businesses, community leaders and industry stakeholders committed to representing the interests of businesses and consumers in the debate over how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more, please visit www.wasoundfuelpolicy.org.

Contact Information:

David Fisher