Stakeholders: LCFS goals questionable, benefit claims “not supported by data”

Proposals in previous years to create a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) have managed to clear the House before stagnating in the Senate Transportation Committee or elsewhere. While the latest proposal via HB 1091 may also clear the House this session, the expected increase to gas prices as a result may be too much for lawmakers to stomach as they work the first transportation package in six years – one that would rely in part on a gas tax. …

… According to a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency analysis of its proposed regional LCFS, the program could have raised gas prices by $.57 per gallon by 2030. Washington Trucking Association President Sheri Call told the committee the analysis also concluded there would be no meaningful impact on regional air quality and was silent on carbon emission reductions.

“(An) LCFS will cost families and businesses billions in added fuel costs,” she said. “The environmental benefit claims…are simply not supported by data.”

Jerry VanderWood with the Associated General Contractors of Washington said an LCFS “would make it impossible to pass a transportation package. It seems very unlikely that consumers and voters would be willing to accept and afford both an LCFS as well as revenue-raising options for transportation.”

Washington-North Idaho District Council of Laborers Legislative Director Billy Wallace told the committee that an LCFS would “add an additional regressive tax on our members who are constantly dispatched to different job sites through their jurisdictions.”

He added that an increase in gas prices would be poorly timed with a proposed transportation package. “Gas tax revenues are critical to funding this new package, and we know it is one of the most important job creators in the state, especially as we are attempting to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic.” …

A total of 2,112 people offered testimony for the public hearing, with 1458 opposed to the measure, 630 in favor and 24 signed in as “other.” …

Executive action is scheduled for HB 1091 on Feb. 9.

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