New low carbon fuel standard proposed

As with last year, efforts to reduce Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions is prompting several bills as part of Governor Jay Inslee’s “green energy” proposal – and the topic took up much of his State of the State speech. One of those proposals seeks to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels through a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), though trucking industry and business group leaders say the standard would increase gas prices significantly in a state that already has the second-highest gas tax.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-36), House Bill 1110 (HB1110) seeks to reduce fuel carbon intensity by 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035. The bill is a modified version of a similar proposal made last year, but failed to clear the House floor. …

Speaking in opposition to the bill, Western States Petroleum Association Northwest Legislative Affairs and Climate Policy Director Jessica Spiegel told state lawmakers that LCFSs “are costly to consumer, not cost effective for emission reductions and not workable.” …

Spiegel also argued that California’s eight-year LCFS program has added roughly $.13 cents to every gallon of fuel.  “No reason to expect it to be less in Washington.”

Also critical of the legislation was Sheri Call, president of the Washington Trucking Associations. She told panel members that their members already support the Port of Seattle’s clean truck program. However, trucking still relies on fossil fuels and is still years away from electric or hybrid replacements, she said.  “Rather than penalize, agree to work with trucking stakeholders to pursue innovative power technologies,” she said.

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