Low-carbon fuels bill passes on party lines

By on Monday, February 1st, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA – After more than five hours of debate, a measure that creates a new low-carbon fuel standard mandate in Washington passed the House of Representatives. The vote was 52 to 46, with all the Republicans voting against it.

House Bill 1091 requires refineries to reduce the carbon content of their fuel or buy credits. The credits would be generated by electrical vehicle charging infrastructure so that gas purchasers are subsidizing the electrification of vehicles. The Republicans estimate the new mandate could drive up the price of gasoline by 57 cents a gallon, and of diesel by 63 cents.

“We are very concerned this is a costly regressive policy that will especially hurt low-income people across our state,” Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) wrote in a prepared statement. It empowers the Department of Ecology to run a clean fuels program that issues deficits and credits that will increase the cost of fuels to consumers.”

Dye said the impact of the bill will be felt by all Washingtonians, put hundreds of jobs at risk, and make little difference in global carbon reduction. Republicans tried and failed to include several amendments that they felt would do less damage.

The bill is now being considered by the Senate.