A judge says a lawsuit against WSDOT, and the WA State Department of Financial Management (OFM) can move forward.

 Washington State Department of Transportation economist refuted state's claims gas prices would not rise due to Climate Commitment Act

A 35-year veteran of WSDOT, Economist Scott Smith said he is looking forward to his "day in court" according to KING-5 TV.

Smith was a transportation planner, and was the primary economist responsible for crunching the numbers about what effects the Climate Commitment Act would have on WA gas prices.

He said his career was destroyed in 2023 after refusing to lie about how much gas prices would rise from the measure, which went into effect. Gov. Inslee and other officials said publicly the CCA (the cap and trade carbon credit plan) would only raise gas prices a "few pennies" per gallon, but Smith's data showed gas prices would rise as much as 45 to 50 cents per gallon (which they did).

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Smith says due to pressure and coercion from upper-level management, he was essentially forced to "resign," ruining his career.

According to KING-5 TV:

"...the Citizen Action Defense Fund (CADF) declared the judge’s decision not to dismiss the whistleblower suit as a win. WSDOT has 30 days to produce discovery.

“I think the court’s ruling today sends a great message to thousands of state employees that the government cannot retaliate against employees for refusing to comply with the state’s attempts to thwart transparency and accountability,” said Jackson Maynard, executive director and counsel to the conservative nonprofit Citizen Action Defense Fund."

Smith filed a complaint last November saying in January of 2023 he was pressured to keep quiet about the data and was told not to write emails about it in case anyone requested information about the subject via a public records request.

The CCA requires businesses that the state considers to be "polluters" to buy carbon credits that allegedly are used to offset their pollution, by steering the money towards so-called green programs. It is called by many a pollution tax.

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