March 18, 2019
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Washington House passes costly clean-fuels legislation sought by Gov. Inslee

House Bill 1110
, mandating the creation of a statewide Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), passed the state House last week on a party-line vote. AWB opposes the bill. It would, among other things, raise the price of gasoline and diesel fuel and could unravel the deal struck to pass the $16 billion, 2015 Connecting Washington transportation funding package.

HB 1110 would require the state Department of Ecology to establish a LCFS program that would reduce consumption of traditional gasoline and diesel, as alternative biofuels grow in the market. It’s a key piece of legislation on Gov. Jay Inslee’s clean-energy agenda this year, The Seattle Times reports.

AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis, citing the California Energy Commission (CEC) February report, warns that Washington’s gas prices, already the third highest in the nation, will rise if an LCFS is implemented.

The CEC report shows California’s LCFS increased the cost of gasoline by 16 cents per gallon and the cost of diesel by 16.6 cents per gallon, which will rise as the program moves to full implementation. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) estimates the state’s LCFS will raise the cost of gasoline by 46 cents per gallon by 2030 and the cost of diesel by 50 cents per gallon by 2030.

Those costs will be borne by consumers. “Most or all of the costs of purchasing credits and allowances are likely passed on to fuel consumers in the form of higher retail prices,” according to the LAO.

Many groups, including AWB, also worry the bill, if passed and signed into law, will unravel the carefully crafted Connecting Washington transportation funding package passed in 2015.

The bill is now in the Senate for consideration and has its first hearing on Tuesday, March 19, at 3:30 p.m. in the Environment, Energy and Technology Committee.

For more information on the LCFS and transportation issues, contact Ennis at 360.943.1600.

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Competitiveness Matters

State won 'economic lottery;' it doesn't need new taxes

By Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin

Imagine winning the lottery tomorrow. You'd have $10 million to spend on whatever you wanted in an instant.

Of course, the prudent thing would be to get a financial adviser and plan for the future. Ensure you have a strong foundation and adequate savings, then decide what you can splurge on. This scenario is not unlike the position our state finds itself in after years of economic recovery and expansion.

Economic and tax revenue growth in Washington state has been extraordinary over the last decade.

So much so that state and local tax growth in Washington was the highest in the nation from 2015 to 2016. The state expects tax collections will top $50 billion for the first time during the next two-year budget cycle. That's $4 billion more than the last cycle and nearly $11 billion more than it had in 2015-17.

Washington has leveraged this growth to invest in important programs, dramatically increasing state funding for public education, for example.

But we need to recognize that this lottery-like period of growth is far from normal. And it has come at a time when Washington also steadily increased the cost of doing business here...

Read the guest commentary in The (Everett) Herald
Competitiveness Matters

Former Rep. Chandler: Inslee threat to prosperity

By Charles H. Featherstone in The Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- Gary Chandler has a message for Gov. Jay Inslee.

"Don't take away our opportunity to be competitive."

The drive for 100 percent clean energy would deprive the Pacific Northwest of its competitive edge on power prices, and the governor's proposed $4 billion in new taxes would hit the state's small business people particularly hard, Chandler said.

"The economy is good, but the economy is starting to slow," Chandler said. "Don't spend everything, don't tax everything."

Read the full story about Chandler's recent talk in The Columbia Basin Herald
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