Could Gov. Inslee Raise Gas Prices $1-Per-Gallon? Possible Executive Order on Low Carbon Fuel
According to legislators in Olympia, the governor and Department of Ecology are hinting at just that.
MyNorthwest.com is reporting Monday that Gov. Inslee and the state Department of Ecology are reportedly prepared to use an executive order to demand implementation of what is called low carbon fuels. These fuels go beyond current ethanol blends you see at the pumpt now. But to make these fuels, it requires special refinery plants, and none currently exist in Washington state.
There are some in California, but if the new fuel standards were enacted here now or the near future the fuel would have to come from there. Inslee signed a controversial climate change pact with CA, OR and British Columbia and one of it's "goals" is to implement these low carbon fuels.
Talk Radio host David Boze from 770amKTTH Radio spoke with GOP Senator Doug Erickson about a recent emergency Senate hearing in Olympia where legislators heard testimony from a variety of sources on the matter. Petroleum experts said if the six fuel plants were built now fuel prices might actually drop, but since they're not, it could raise Washington state gas prices as much as $1.00 per gallon.
According to Boze:
Inslee and the state Department of Ecology feel they are on firm legal footing to implement the standards via executive order. Ericksen says the Senate is meeting with lawyers to determine if that's legally feasible. (Bold lettering added for emphasis).
The Everett Herald online reports the environmental fuel issue has gotten very testy in Olympia:
GOP Senator Curtis King, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, is convinced Inslee will wait until lawmakers depart Olympia in March then unilaterally impose tougher standards for the level of carbon allowed in fuel sold to motorists.
Inslee says he's not proposed formally any such plan, but GOP legislators point to the controversial Pacific Coast Action Plan which Inslee signed last October. That's the environmental pact mentioned earlier in this article. While the document says it's not legally binding for the West Coast states and British Columbia, it does contain language saying the parties "will adopt" these new fuel standards.
The real question is, how close is Inslee to actually using an executive order in this matter? It appears he's made enough noise about environmental policy, green energy and global warming that GOP leaders and others in Olympia don't trust him.