LCFS proposal “destroys our competitiveness”

The state House has voted 52-44 in favor of a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program via HB 1110; introduced last year and at that time approved by the chamber 53-43, the legislation reached the Senate Transportation Committee before it was referred back to the House. The vote this session was preceded by hours-long impassioned pleas by legislators on the House floor speaking in opposition to the bill over concerns that the expected increase to gas prices will harm Washington’s economy.

“It absolutely destroys our competitiveness,” Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-20) told colleagues. …

If approved by the Senate, Washington would join California and Oregon, which have already implemented LCFS programs. California’s LCFS program has raised gas prices by at least $.16 per gallon and continues to generate deficits, while Oregon’s program has raised gas prices by roughly $.024 per gallon, though it is only 15 percent implemented. …

An analysis by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency of its proposed regional LCFS program found that it could raise gas prices by $.57 per gallon; some have argued the price could be even higher due to what they consider to be optimistic assumptions made in the analysis.

“This is a bill that’s going to cost the people of the state of Washington dearly,” [Rep. Jim Walsh] said. “The people of the state have spoken time and time again. They’re tired of paying more in transportation costs and not seeing good effects.”

“I left California 13 years ago to get away from this type of regulation, to get away from this type of taxation,” Rep. Bill Jenkin (R-16) said. “It makes me shiver to think that we’re doing the same thing to the citizens of our great state.” …

“We have opportunities to put jobs in those communities, and yet here we are with a bill in front of us that is going to cost them jobs,” Orcutt said.

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