April 8, 2019
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AWB testifies against Low-Carbon Fuels bill; measure remains in Senate Transportation Committee as deadline nears

AWB’s Mike Ennis testified Thursday evening against E2SHB 1110, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standards bill.

Ennis told the Senate Transportation Committee that AWB is strongly opposed to the measure.

“What is indisputable with this issue is the impact on fuel prices that a low carbon fuel standard will have,” Ennis said.

He referenced a report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office that estimates California’s program will raise the cost of gasoline by as much as 46 cents per gallon by 2030, and the cost of diesel fuel by 50 cents per gallon, also by 2030.

“That’s a significant increase in fuel prices,” he said, noting that none of the revenue from Washington’s program would go to transportation policy or transportation infrastructure.

Proponents say the measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to climate change, and spur demand for alternative fuels. State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who sponsored the bill, shared his passion for addressing climate change at a recent AWB Lobby Lunch.

But other opponents said the bill would not do enough to reduce greenhouse gases.

In any event, the bill needs to move out of the Senate Transportation Committee by Tuesday, April 9 in order to stay alive in the current legislative session, The Everett Herald notes.

Complicating matters are other efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, like a cap and trade system and Hobbs’ own transportation budget proposal.

“Technically, the legislation, House Bill 1110, needs to be approved by the panel by April 9 to have a shot at becoming law,” reporter Jerry Cornfield wrote. “Hobbs has made clear he isn’t a fan of the bill and has made no commitments to bring it up for a vote.”

If fuel prices rise, fuel purchases could go down.

“So what’s great for the environment is not so great for the state’s transportation budget,” Cornfield continues. “Gas taxes are its primary financial fuel and any drop-off means potentially less revenue for preserving and maintaining highway infrastructure, let alone financing new projects.

`I don’t want to pass something out that takes money away from our budget,’ Hobbs said.”

Contact Ennis at MikeE@awb.org or 360.943.1600 for more information.

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