If you don’t want gas prices to go up, let Olympia know this bill isn’t the answer

The fight against climate change in Olympia appears to be setting many urban and rural lawmakers on opposite sides of the battle, and we fear Eastern Washington may end up on the losing end.

While there are several carbon-reducing bills still alive in the Legislature, one in particular is a concern for Colin Hastings, executive director of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce. …

[House Bill 1110] attempts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by limiting the carbon intensity in traditional fuels like gasoline and diesel. …

While we believe efforts to combat climate change can be workable, HB 1110 does not appear to be one of those measures.

Hastings called the bill an example of the “urban-rural divide” in our state. If approved, he said the measure will significantly increase the cost of gas, which will be more of a burden to those living in areas like the Tri-Cities where most people have to drive several miles just to get to work. …

Beyond the private sector, lawmakers should consider how higher fuel costs will affect public entities like the Washington State Patrol, city fire departments, public transit services and school districts — especially those with large rural routes.

Hastings said it is possible citizens will be hit twice if this measure is approved — once at the pump and again when more taxes are needed to fund the added fuel costs of schools and state agencies. …

… new data by the California Energy Commission says the new program has added 16 cents to the gallon for gasoline and 16.6 cents a gallon for diesel.

In addition, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts costs will increase to 46 cents a gallon by 2030. …

Washington already has the third highest gas tax in the country. We doubt citizens are eager to embrace a new low-carbon fuel standard if it means gas prices jump even more.

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