The false promises and high cost of the low-carbon fuel mandate

Imagine a politician bragging about a policy that would reduce air pollution by one percent, ten years from now. Would you be impressed? How about spending $38 to get $1 worth of environmental benefit?

What if advocates promised that even though their policy didn’t create the farm jobs they promised last time, this time it will work?

Advocates of a “low-carbon fuel standard” make all these promises, although they aren’t this candid. A bill currently being considered by the Legislature, House Bill 1110, would follow in the footsteps of California and Oregon, forcing Washington drivers to pay more for gasoline supposedly to reduce carbon emissions.

The policy, however, is expensive and offers false hope for farmers and the environment. We know this because we’ve already seen the poor results elsewhere.

The low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) is a complicated government mandate to reduce the carbon-dioxide intensity of gasoline emissions. In California and Oregon, where they have imposed the LCFS, the cost is very high. …

What would we get for that extra cost? Not much. …

Although they grudgingly admit the cost is high, LCFS advocates argue it will also reduce air pollution, like particulate matter. In reality, an LCFS would do almost nothing. A study by the Washington State Department of Ecology found the LCFS would reduce particulate matter by about one percent, ten years from now. Ten years. One percent.

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