On Nov. 6, 2018 “Initiative 1631” was voted down by “We the People” of the State of Washington (56.5 percent no) and “We the People” of Pacific County (66.5 percent no). I-1631 was an act “Relating to reducing pollution by investing in clean air, clean energy, clean water, healthy forests, and healthy communities by imposing a fee on large emitters based on their pollution.” It is my opinion that if this “initiative” had passed our vehicle fuel prices would have increased significantly.

Subsequently, Gov. Jay Inslee was interviewed on MSNBC and when asked why the State of Washington wasn’t doing more to reduce carbon pollution, he replied by saying that he now has a Democratically controlled legislature and things will be changing to support his agenda (paraphrased).

HB 1110, which was sponsored by 14 Democratic representatives and has passed the House with our representatives Brian Blake (D) and Jim Walsh (R) voting “no," would “Direct the Department of Ecology to adopt a rule establishing a Clean Fuels Program to limit greenhouse gas emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035.” There are exclusions, bankable and tradeable credits and a tracking process to be included in the rules.

SB 5412, which is the companion bill to HB 1110 (reads and directs the same), sponsored by 14 Democratic senators and currently being debated in the Senate would, if passed in the Senate, be sent to the governor for signature.

It is my belief that if HB 1110/SB 5412 become law that our vehicle fuel prices will increase significantly. Please contact Sen. Dean Takko and urge his “no” vote on SB 5412.

Another Senate Bill (SB 5971), which was sponsored by 12 Democratic senators including Sen. Takko, would have an enormous impact on our vehicle fuel prices. This bill imposes a carbon pollution fee, a special transportation benefit assessment and increases the state gas tax by $0.06. Our current state tax on vehicle fuel is $0.49 per gallon and it is estimated that this carbon pollution fee and new gas tax would raise our vehicle fuel tax by $0.20 per gallon.

This bill would also raise the vehicle gross weight and other fees, the electrical vehicle fee, and other vehicle and driver related charges. It would implement a sales and use tax on automobile parts and bicycles and increases the rental car tax, the capital vessel surcharge, and other fees. Again, please contact Sen. Takko and urge his “no” vote on SB 5971.

“We the People” need to stay informed on these issues. Please check out these “bills” on line by entering the bill number.

L. REX HUTCHINS

Menlo

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