In the final days of the 2020 regular session, the Washington State Legislature moved forward a proposal – House Bill 2957 – that would expand the so-called “Clean Air Rule” and give broad new authority to the Washington State Department of Ecology to impose costly new regulations on both “direct and indirect” greenhouse gas emissions sources. Any new regulations – which could include the adoption of a costly, ineffective Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) – as well as restrictions on the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels would not require legislative approval or oversight. An independent study estimates the cost of such regulations could be up to $6.8 billion on top of the cost of an LCFS. There are no cost containment provisions in HB 2957.
HB 2957 is independent from the original proposal to impose a costly new fuel policy for Washington called a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) was originally proposed in the 2019 legislative session as the subject of Substitute House Bill 1110.