Rep Jesse Young: Low carbon fuel standard bill accomplishes nothing; would hurt low-income, working-class families

Despite overwhelming evidence against its effectiveness, and bipartisan opposition, House Democrats passed a controversial bill on Jan. 29 that would establish a low-carbon fuel standard in Washington state.

In every way, House Bill 1110, is a bad bill, and I strongly oppose it. That's why I joined every other House Republican, and five Democrats, and voted against it. The low-carbon fuel standard is not the direction we need to take the state of Washington.

It will punish the poor, hurt job growth, and massively redistribute wealth to the corporate elite. The arguments in favor suggest this bill would help the low-income and working class. But how?

How is it going to help people who are just trying to get to work every day and make it through to the end of the week on a limited budget? If you raise price of gas significantly, how is that going to help hard-working families? It won't!

Proponents also say this bill would help low, fixed-income families by helping target pollution reduction in urban dense areas. Yet, this bill specifically carves out the very people they say are contributing to carbon pollution in these locations, the businesses most responsible for greenhouse gases.

How is that helping the poor if you're giving away corporate buyouts? It doesn't. The truth is, using these types of relativistic arguments that manipulate logic to make a point, is like offering a picture of water to a thirsty person. It doesn't help them and it's rather insulting.

Proponents also say this is going to help the economy. If it's also going to help the economy, then let me ask a simple question: why aren't third-world, or moderately industrial, countries trying to improve their economies by jumping on this? None of them are doing it. Why? Because it doesn't help produce jobs.

It would also create an expensive and unaccountable new governmental bureaucracy. Furthermore, it would increase the cost of construction and add to the cost of housing, when we already have an affordable housing crisis.

Finally, this bill creates a system that provides for a redistribution of wealth to the corporate elite. It's a massive corporate giveback manifest, plastered with a bunch of unicorn and rainbow stickers on the cover of it, so proponents can hold it up to their audience and proclaim, “look how much we care.”

Washingtonians have made it clear how they feel about a carbon tax and a carbon fee, by voting against it twice already (I-732 and I-1631). The passage of I-976 sent this same message: they want lower-cost transportation – not higher fees.

However, despite those election results, and the nearly four hours of testimony against it on Jan. 29, the majority party again chose to ignore the will of the people and send the bill to the Senate.

This is an equation that doesn't work for Washington and not a single legislator can claim they're not aware of what this bill really is: another way to tax the hard-working people and businesses of Washington, while carving out the corporate elite.

The House should've never passed it. We can only hope the Senate listens to the people and has the sense to stop it. Make sure to let your voice be heard.

State Representative Jesse Young, 26th Legislative District
468 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7964 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000