February 3, 2020
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories

House narrowly passes low-carbon fuels standard despite bipartisan opposition

In a tight vote last week, the state House passed a measure that would require fuel producers and importers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with that fuel. House Bill 1110, after extensive debates, passed 52-44, with less support than it had when voted on by the House last year. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, who was for the bill last year, voted against it this year, notes Jerry Cornfield of The Herald. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it stalled last year. The Spokesman-Review and The Lens News have more on the hours-long debate.

This low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) would direct the Department of Ecology to adopt a clean fuels program similar to programs in California and Oregon. It would require fuel producers to reduce the carbon emissions associated with their products to 10% below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20% below 2017 levels by 2035, according to The Associated Press.

AWB joins trade unions who oppose the measure for the same reason that the California Legislative Analysis Office recommends that the Golden State modify or eliminate its LCFS: This mandate is the most costly and inefficient way to reduce carbon.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), in a 2019 report, estimates that a low-carbon fuel standard would increase the cost of gasoline by up to 57 cents per gallon by 2030. Diesel would increase by up to 63 cents per gallon in the same 10-year timeframe.

This would also reduce the gross regional product by about $1.5 billion, the agency's report shows.

AWB took a deep dive into the LCFS issue with a recent AWB Amplified video.

Contact AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis to learn more or to add your voice to the conversation on a LCFS in Washington.

« Back to Main
News: Legislative Day and Hill Climb
Focus on Puget Sound

Removing Snake River dams is misguided approach to saving orcas

By Todd Myers and Steve Martin

The struggle to increase salmon populations and help Southern Resident killer whales will be won or lost through recovery projects across the state, perhaps most importantly in Puget Sound.

That simple, scientific reality should guide salmon recovery in Washington. Distractions, like the destruction of the Snake River dams, will end up harming salmon, orcas and those who care about them.

The science is clear that Puget Sound is the most important source of food for starving orcas. NOAA Fisheries and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife ranked their sources of food for orca and found that the Puget Sound, Strait of Georgia, the Lower Columbia and the Fraser rivers are the top priorities. The Snake River ranked ninth.

This is why NOAA Fisheries has repeatedly concluded that destroying the four lower Snake River dams would have a "marginal" impact on orca recovery, despite a very high cost...

Todd Myers is a member of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council and environmental director of the Washington Policy Center in Seattle. Steve Martin previously served as executive coordinator of Gov. Jay Inslee's Salmon Recovery Office.

Read the full op-ed in The News Tribune