Let’s have an honest conversation about energy costs in WA

As lawmakers adopted the state’s Climate Commitment Act, the business community warned of the price increases it would levy on consumers. It’s simple economics: Raise prices on commodities upstream, and those increases get passed along the supply chain.

Public testimony on the Climate Commitment Act, the Clean Energy Transformation Act and other greenhouse gas-reduction policies highlighted the fact that, as written, these are extremely expensive policies. … Policymakers should have known what was coming.

Now that the predicted rise in gas prices is taking place, however, some lawmakers and environmental advocates appear to be surprised. Well, their “surprise” is surprising. The CCA is doing exactly what it was designed to do: raise the price of gasoline and diesel transportation fuels to give people an incentive to cut back on travel, switch to electric vehicles or public transportation. …

Environmental advocates have been arguing for years that these costs are worth it to help limit global temperature increases. Politicians tried to have it both ways by attempting to tell us we could decarbonize the economy for “pennies on the dollar.”

Voters deserve the truth from their elected officials. If the state is to truly manage the complexities of the green transition, we need an honest conversation about the policies and costs that come with them. We should be discussing how to manage these costs in a predictable and stable way. That is our call to policymakers. Let’s set aside the blame game and focus on fine-tuning and fixing the problem.

Peter Godlewski is the government affairs director for energy, environment and water policy at the Association of Washington Business.

Read the Complete Article »