LCFS, round three

Though state lawmakers for the past two years have unsuccessfully tried to enact a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in an effort to reduce transportation sector carbon emissions, some have decided to take another run at implementing the policy.

A Jan. 16 public hearing of the previous proposal’s companion bill [SB 5412] in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee featured similar arguments for and against the program. … [C]ritics say it is a costly, ineffective method to reduce carbon that would raise both the price of gas as well as any goods or products that rely on trucking.

Simultaneously, another argument against the LCFS is that it could make another transportation package politically unviable by raising gas prices. …

What’s more, an independent analysis of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s (PSCAA) of its own regional proposal found that it could raise gas prices by $.57. …

… According to the latest LCFS reporting from California, in the second quarter of 2019 the program generated 3.67 metric tons (MT) of credits compared to 3.92 million MT of deficits. That program has also raised the price of gas by at least $.16 per gallon.

Although the hit to gas prices by Oregon’s LCFS has been minimal, it is still in the early implementation stage. [Washington Policy Center environmental policy director Todd Myers] conservatively estimates that when fully implemented in 2025 the added cost per gallon of gas will be around $.16.

Washington Trucking Association President Sheri Call told the committee that any gas price increase will inevitably hit the average resident’s wallet. “When the cost of truck transportation goes up, the cost of everything goes up. This means increased costs for Washington’s manufacturers, retailers, mom and pop shops, service providers, home builders, farmers and consumers.”

Private sector union representatives such as Billy Wallace said that tradesmen would also experience the negative effects of such a policy. Wallace is the political and legislative director for the Washington-North Idaho District Council of Laborers. “This affects our members the most, especially eastern Washington. We have to put gas in our cars, we have to travel where the jobs are…even more so now that there’s no affordable housing. It amounts to a regressive tax.” …

Read the Complete Article »