Dori: Low-carbon fuel standard hurts working-class families
The Washington State House of Representatives just passed a low carbon fuel standard in House Bill 1110 — but Randy Pepple with Affordable Fuel Washington says that the move is “costly, it’s regressive, and it won’t work.”
Based on a similar California policy, the fuel standard would add 16 cents to every gallon of gas, he said. What’s more, the California tax is expected to rise to 41 cents per gallon in the next decade.
“It hits the people who can’t afford it the most, because it hits the poor and the middle class who have to drive to get to their job, to run their errands, and so forth,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “They can’t switch to go out and buy an expensive electric car.”
Average families won’t just feel the hit to their pocketbooks at the pump. Since this will raise delivery costs for transportation companies, the increased price will eventually trickle down to the consumer’s cart full of groceries at the supermarket.
“You and I end up paying [the costs] at the pump, and anytime we buy something that requires transportation to reach us,” he said.
He also pointed out that the policy has been “10 times more costly than other carbon emission policies” for California.
Legislators in Washington, he said, seem determined to enact these policies without considering how they will affect working families or indeed, if they will even prove worthwhile at all.
“For them, it’s much more about, ‘Hey, we have to have these, this is the way to go,’ and they’re ignoring the examples in California … this is a policy that will not work.”
The voters of Washington rejected a carbon tax more than once, most recently in last November’s election.
“They’re not saying that because they want a dirtier environment; what Washingtonians are saying is, ‘We want carbon reduction policies that work, with incentives, not penalties, to help us transition to this cleaner economy,'” Pepple said. “But this policy just does not do that.”
Furthermore, Pepple pointed out, the state “already has one of the cleanest energy sectors in the country” because of hydro-power.
“Let’s look at policies that would work, that would actually reduce emissions if that’s the goal, and not pick a policy that … is inefficient and 10 times more costly than other policies,” he said.
As the fuel standard bill moves over to the Senate, Pepple encourages everyone to contact their senators via the Legislative hotline, 800-562-6000, and tell them not to hurt working families’ finances.