Lawmaker says any effort to implement low carbon fuel standards should go through legislative process, not executive decree

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Jan. 14, 2014

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Lawmaker says any effort to implement low carbon fuel standards should go through legislative process, not executive decree

‘This has the potential to harm our hardworking families in a very real and measurable way at a time when many are still climbing out of the recession,’ says Rep. Shelly Short

As the debate surrounding potential costly environment regulations continues in Olympia, some lawmakers want to make sure that any specific efforts to implement so-called low carbon fuel standards originates in the Legislature, not through executive order from Gov. Jay Inslee.

Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy and ranking Republican on the House Environment Committee, is sponsoring legislation that would require legislative action before new fuel standards could be adopted, essentially stripping the governor’s office from implementing costly regulations via executive decree.

“On decisions this big, that will impact families this much, they need to go through the most public, transparent, deliberative and scrutinized process available,” said Short. “The Legislative process includes committee hearings, public testimony, amendments, input from lawmakers and comprehensive analysis. Decisions like this need to include the public and be debated in the light of day, not in the dark recesses of executive privilege.”

Short said there were a wide range of costs associated with low carbon fuel standards. During her work on the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW) she was given a report that showed implementing a new low carbon fuel standard in Washington state would increase the price of gasoline by as much as $1.06 per gallon.

“This hits all of Washingtonians right in the wallet,” said Short. “This has the potential to harm our hardworking families in a very real and measurable way at a time when many are still climbing out of the recession.  Our state and local economies would be hit hard and our state’s economic competitiveness would suffer.  Frankly, I see employers, jobs and certain industries moving out of Washington and into nearby states if policies like this are adopted by the governor.

“At the very least, the ones who have to pay for this policy should have ample opportunity to weigh-in and have their voices heard,” said Short. “An executive order from the governor’s office does not accomplish that.”

 

 

To date, only California has implemented a low carbon fuel standard, with a planned .25 percent reduction in 2011, a .5 percent reduction in 2012 and 1 percent reduction in 2013.  But even with this incremental and gradual increase, the state has decided to put the plan on hold throughout the remainder of 2014 to further study the economic and environmental impacts.  California’s goal of a 10 percent reduction in their fuel’s carbon intensity remains in doubt at this time.

Short said she and her colleagues are not against fuel choice, but that the market should bring that to bear, not artificial mandates that raise the price of gas.

“California tried to do this but backed away once they realized they didn’t have the supply or the infrastructure to back up their mandate,” said Short. “I think it would be a huge mistake for Washington to go down this road, and an even bigger one if the state does it without going through the Legislative process first. The governor can’t go it alone on this one.”

Short’s proposed legislation will go through the code reviser’s office and receive a bill number in the next few days.

For more information about Rep. Short, visit: www.representativeshellyshort.com.

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Rep. Short’s media:
official portrait  silent b-roll  photos on Flickr  YouTube videos  podcast

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov