“Poison pill” amendments could kill LCFS bill

The state Senate voted 27-20 on April 8 in favor of E3SHB 1091, a measure which would create a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program in Washington state. …

However, now several senate Democrats who voted in favor of the bill have made it clear that various changes made to the House-approved version must remain if they are to vote again in support of the proposal. …

Those changes are:

  • Legislative review of the LCFS program after it has reached 10 percent implementation;
  • Requires a transportation package of $500 million or more per biennium is to be passed before the program can start;
  • Freezes the compliance standard in 2028 and after if a new biofuel facility generating 60 million gallons or more of biofuels annually has not received all needed permits; and
  • Freezes the compliance standard in 2026 unless there’s a 25-percent increase of in-state biofuel production.

Many of those changes are intended to address issues raised repeatedly in public hearings regarding available clean fuel supplies, the risk of increased gas prices, and the impact to various industries such as farming and trucking. Other critics argue that the program would mostly benefit out-of-state biofuel producers.

Signing in support of the joint letter were various building and trades union representatives, including:

  • Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Mark Riker;
  • Washington State Association of the United Association of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry Government Affairs Director Neil Hartman;
  • Washington & Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers Political & Legislative Director Billy Wallace Jr.;
  • Northwest Carpenters Union Political Director Matt Swanson; and
  • International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 302 Political and Communications Representative Josh Swanson.
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