Washington will likely adopt a pollution limit on gasoline and other transportation fuels. That’s the prediction from Democratic Governor Jay Inslee. He recently ordered a feasibility and cost study of a low-carbon fuel standard.
For months now, Washington Republicans have been predicting that Inslee will use his executive powers to enact a low-carbon fuel standard. Inslee acknowledges he’s looking at ways to do this without legislative approval. Either way he thinks Washington is poised to move forward.
“I think it’s a probability that we will be able to fashion a low-carbon fuel standard that will be effective for the state of Washington, both for carbon pollution and from a cost-containment standpoint," said Inslee on Seattle Channel’s “Civic Cocktail” program. "From what I know today, I think it’s a likelihood we will succeed in fashioning that, but I want to reiterate we’re going to have a very sophisticated, thorough evaluation of that before I make that ultimate decision.”
A low-carbon fuel standard is basically a requirement that vehicle fuels be blended with less carbon-intensive alternative fuels. For instance, California’s standard requires a 10 percent reduction in carbon intensity of gas and diesel over 10 years.
Governor Inslee has promised a “deliberative, public process” as he pursues carbon pollution reduction measures in Washington. Legislative Republicans oppose a fuel standard and say it could drive up the cost of gasoline.