Gov. Inslee signs executive order on carbon reduction

Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed an executive order outlining a series of steps to cut carbon pollution in Washington through a cap-and-trade program a low-carbon fuel standard more energy-efficient buildings and other tactics. The Governor’s executive order does not implement any new programs but rather creates an “action plan” with public processes. Most of the major action plan elements the Governor delineates will require either legislative approval or legislative appropriation for funding.

The Governor’s press release elaborates on the elements of the action plan which are:
•    Reduce carbon emissions through a new cap-and-market program
•    End use of electricity generated by coal
•    Develop clean transportation options and cleaner fuels
•    Accelerate development and deployment of clean energy technology
•    Improve the energy efficiency of the places we work and live
•    Reduce state government’s carbon footprint

AGC will be reviewing these elements with its allies in the business community. AGC through its membership in the Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policies coalition has already expressed its concerns to Gov. Inslee about the low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) proposal.

“The members of Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policies are firmly united in their belief that a LCFS could increase fuel costs dramatically and would seriously damage job creation and the state economy” said David D’Hondt AGC Executive Vice President. “This is of acute concern to the construction industry which is still struggling with high statewide unemployment. This coalition intends to work with the Governor and his administration as it moves forward to develop these policies to ensure the interests of businesses and consumers are represented.”

A LCFS requires reduction in the carbon intensity of conventional transportation fuels – gasoline and diesel – as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Coalition members are committed to pursuing workable and cost-effective strategies to address greenhouse gases but believe that a LCFS could lead to fuel supply disruptions and market volatility that would negatively impact Washington families and businesses.

“There are serious unanswered questions about how low-carbon fuels affect engine performance and maintenance” said Larry Pursley executive vice president of the Washington Trucking Associations. “Additionally our members buy tens of millions of gallons of fuel each year. The increased cost of low-carbon fuels would hurt our competitiveness and drive up the cost of every load they haul.”

For more information contact Jerry VanderWood AGC Communication Director and Lobbyist 206.284.0061.