Complex cap-and-trade bill passes House Environment and Energy Committee; Rep. Dye warns it will impact ‘ordinary people’

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“This is a stressful policy on the citizens of Washington state. And, Mr. Chairman, it hurts me to think that we're just going to do it anyway, without letting the people have a chance to tell you how it might feel when they lose their job, their industry, their retirement, their kids' college. This is a real, consequential policy on the real lives of ordinary people across the state.” Rep. Mary Dye – Commenting on Senate Bill 5126, the “Climate Commitment Act,” during the House Environment and Energy Committee, April 16, 2021.

On Friday evening, majority Democrats in the House Environment and Energy Committee passed the governor's so-called “Climate Commitment Act,” Senate Bill 5126, a 60-page measure that would enact a complicated cap and trade system in Washington. So complex, the bill summary is 30 pages, and so expensive, the fiscal note reads like a book at 99 pages long.

The bill would enact a limit (cap) on entities that emit carbon dioxide or produce and/or distribute fuel that emits carbon when combusted in vehicle engines. The trade is an auction of state-issued allowances, run by an independent contractor, to emit more carbon than the cap. The state Department of Ecology is granted broad authority to set the pricing and limits. Ecology will adjust the cap over multi-year compliance periods. The costs of those allowances would be passed to the consumer.

Rep. Mary Dye, ranking Republican on the House Environment and Energy Committee, said the legislation to monetize carbon would have far reaching impacts to Washington's economy, cost people's jobs, and make little difference on Washington's air quality.

See Rep. Dye's comments here: