Low carbon fuel standard stalls

ESSHB 1110, which would create a statewide low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), has hit a roadblock after it failed to clear an April 9 legislative cutoff date for bills moving through the Senate Transportation Committee, though theoretically it could be resurrected by state lawmakers if it is included in the operating budget. …

One cause appears to be apprehension over the expected increase to gas prices, an issue raised by Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs (D-44) while it was in the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. Hobbs has introduced a separate 10-year transportation package that includes a carbon tax as well as a $.06 gas tax increase to help pay for fish barrier removal projects. …

One of the groups opposed to the LCFS is the Washington Trucking Association. President Sheri Call told Lens that one of the reasons is that it raises the price of gas, but unlike the gas tax “it doesn’t provide benefit. If we adopt it, what happens two years down the road when we are trying to take a serious look at new revenue for the highways?” …

Although the bill didn’t make the cutoff date, it’s fate is still uncertain because operating budget writers can still implement it by declaring it “necessary to implement the budget.”

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