OLYMPIA — Talks between the Washington Department of Ecology, farm groups and fuel producers and distributors have been fruitless, leaving farmers overpaying for fuel because of the state’s recently enacted cap-and-trade law.
Cap-and-trade costs are being passed down to farmers, even though lawmakers exempted from the program fuel used to produce and transport farm goods.
Fuel distributors and farm groups assert cap-and-trade is adding more than 40 cents a gallon to fuel based on projections of how much fuel producers will spend to comply with the law.
Matt Harris, state Potato Commission director of governmental affairs, said Thursday he expects cap-and-trade to cost farmers millions of dollars.
“This is such a painful experience. I don’t see a solution going forward,” he said. “We’re stuck with a horrible law that promised us an exemption, and we’re not getting it.” …
Ecology was charged by lawmakers to devise a way to shield agriculture and the maritime industry from the higher costs. No way has emerged to separately track exempt fuel and non-exempt fuel flowing through a complicated distribution chain. …
“We agree with the concerns among the agricultural and marine users. They are entitled to these exemptions,” the [Western States Petroleum Association] said in a statement. …Read the Complete Article »