Despite strong Republican opposition, House majority passes low-carbon fuel bill that could significantly boost gas/diesel prices

After more than five hours of debate, a measure that would create an expensive new low-carbon fuel standard mandate in Washington passed the state House of Representatives, 52-46, with all Republicans voting no.

House Bill 1091 would require refineries to reduce the carbon content of their fuel or buy credits. The credits would be generated by electric vehicle charging infrastructure, so that gas purchasers subsidize the electrification of transportation. It's estimated the new mandate could drive up the price of gasoline by 57 cents per gallon, and diesel by 63 cents.

Rep. Mary Dye, ranking Republican on the House Environment and Energy Committee released this statement following passage of the bill:

“We are very concerned this is a costly, regressive policy that will especially hurt low-income people across our state. It empowers the Department of Ecology to run a clean fuels program that issues deficits and credits that will increase the cost of fuels to consumers.

“It will result in price increases in every sector of our economy which uses transportation, including the food on our tables. Every person who drives a vehicle will be impacted. It is expected to put hundreds of jobs at risk over the next decade and grind our economy to a halt. And it will make little difference in global carbon reduction.

“I'm also concerned this will make it more difficult for our timber and agricultural economy. Much of the equipment relies on the use of diesel which will increase in price. It would also boost the cost of construction and add to the cost of housing at a time when our state has an affordable housing problem. And it does not generate one dime of revenue for any transportation infrastructure in Washington.

“We've made tremendous investments in clean air and water, and are doing many things to address climate change. But this measure layers on an additional expense with the highest cost of carbon mitigation that results in the lowest reduction of carbon emissions. It doesn't achieve the goal it intends. Instead, it rewards the elite while hurting the working poor of Washington state.

“Republicans tried to improve the measure with numerous amendments, most of which were rejected by the majority. I'm very disappointed because of the hardships this will create on the people of Washington. Hopefully, it can be stopped in the Senate.”

The measure goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov