Oregon Legislature Set to Vote on Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Wednesday
Oregon has actually had a low-carbon fuel standard since 2009, but only one part of the bill is actually in operation. The bill is set to expire, or sunset, at the end of 2015. But if it's passed, additional parts will be put in action, get ready for gas hikes anywhere from $.19 to $.33 cents per gallon at the least.
According to information released Wednesday by Oregon Representative John Davis:
"The program, which would be indefinitely extended and significantly revised by Senate Bill 324, would require a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of most fuels by 2025. "
A low-carbon fuel standard requires refineries to greatly boost the mixture of alternative elements into gasoline, a costly and time consuming process- hence the rise in fuel prices. Davis went on to say:
"If implemented, the effects of the LCFS program are described by the Oregonian Editorial Board as follows: “Most fuel prices will go up…[DEQ] estimates an increase of up to 19 cents per gallon. In essence, the standard is a way of both forcing consumers to buy higher-priced ‘clean’ fuels and subsidizing those who produce them. It is, in effect, a global-warming gas tax.”
The only part of the bill that actually went into effect after 2009 was a requirement by Oregon fuel importers and producers to list and report all their fuel-related transactions.
Davis also reported:
"As reported by the Oregonian, “Oregon estimates a low-carbon fuel standard could increase gas prices by 4 cents to 19 cents a gallon by 2025, based on two studies funded by groups that support low-carbon standards. Another study paid for by the Western States Petroleum Association, which lobbies against low-carbon standards, estimates an increase of 33 cents to $1.06 a gallon.”
In addition, Oregon's constitution requires all gas tax increases to be invested 100% in the state's roads and travel infrastructure. But these gas hikes from the low-carbon fuels would NOT be used as such.
Davis said the vote is set for mid-morning, and gave information how folks in Oregon can view how their area legislators voted on this bill:
" The Oregon House is set to vote on extending and revising the LCFS under Senate Bill 324 today at 11:00am. You may find and contact your legislator by following this link. Please let each of us know your perspective on the LCFS."
You can bet Gov. Inslee will be watching the vote, as this is the same kind of controversial gas program he wants for Washington state.