December 8, 2014
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Inslee looking at tax on oil that arrives by rail

An existing tax on oil that arrives in Washington by ship could be extended to shipments arriving by rail, Crosscut reports. The 5-cent-per-barrel tax might also be increased.

In 2003, 91 percent of oil arriving at Washington refineries came by ship, with 9 percent coming by pipeline and none by rail. By last year, just over 2/3 came by ship, about 25 percent came by pipeline, and 8.4 percent came by railroad.

The proposed tax would translate to $34.75 per oil tanker car, or roughly $28,900 per day for the amount of oil arriving each day in Washington by rail.

A bipartisan bill to extend the oil tax to railroad shipments passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee this year but did not come up for a full vote by the end of the legislative session.

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New 'business-blue' coalition focuses on protecting Washington's trade status

By Eric Schinfeld, Washington Council on International Trade

As an advocate for international trade, I'm fortunate to work with some of the most innovative global brands in America today, witnessing companies whose efforts both distinguish them across the globe and also bring jobs and prosperity back to America's middle class. Last week, following our annual Washington Trade Conference, I introduced a panel discussion convened by partners from Keep Washington Competitive, a new coalition of business and labor leaders.

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column in the Puget Sound Business Journal

Opinion: Gov. Inslee and Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce should carefully consider climate policy

By Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

The low-carbon fuel standard the governor is considering by way of executive order could raise prices at the pump anywhere from 13 cents a gallon to $1.50. I'm told the purpose of the fuel standard is to encourage sustainable fuel production and use, with the ultimate goal being a reduction in carbon emissions (largely from cars and trucks operating on our roadways).

When considering climate change on a global scale, few would dispute the need to seek reductions in carbon emissions. But without a thorough understanding of potential impacts on fuel prices and, ultimately, jobs connected to transportation costs, further study of the fuel standard as a means of achieving reduced carbon emissions is warranted. While I'm all for lower carbon, cleaner fuels and better efficiency in our cars, trucks, industrial processes and lives, I cannot support taking action without knowing for certain we're not sending jobs out of the state or, worse, overseas where few standards, if any, exist.

READ MORE: Click here for the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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