Inslee says GOP senator ‘fear mongering’ on carbon fuel standard

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 3:52pm
  • Local News

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee responded sharply today to a Republican senator who accused the governor of plotting to bypass lawmakers and impose a new carbon fuel tax through executive order.

Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, said Monday that Inslee needed to come clean on his future intentions.

“This is an issue of trust. We cannot ask the people of Washington and our job creators to support a 10-cent gas tax if the governor plans to add more taxes,” said King, who is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Today King got a response — and in the process the Majority Coalition Caucus also may have got some breathing room on the transportation package.

“Senator King, you have publicly called on me to “come clean” about my plans for a “carbon fuel tax.” I’d like to clearly address this issue,” Inslee wrote in a three-page letter sent to House and Senate leaders in both parties.

First, I have never proposed, nor discussed proposing, a “carbon fuel tax.” I have discussed a low carbon fuel standard as a mechanism to develop cleaner fuels for our state. There is no element of a clean fuels standard that could in any way be called a “tax.” That you choose to call it a tax suggests that this effort is more about fear mongering or excuses for inaction than an actual discussion of the costs of reducing pollution from our transportation system. That you have cited hypothetical costs in excess of one dollar per gallon reinforces my impression that this is about politics and not substance.

Inslee goes on to write:

If anyone tells you my proposal will cost money, or save money, they are not telling you the truth. No such assumptions can be made regarding a proposal that doesn’t exist, and I can assure you that no proposal from me that adds significant costs at the pump will ever materialize. I will ensure this by demanding real cost-containment measures and a thorough and very public analysis of all costs and benefits associated with any clean fuels proposal before moving forward.

That you say I have to “come clean” implies I have in some way been hiding my intentions. This is offensive and untrue. Anyone that knows me knows that I am interested in effective ways to combat carbon pollution, including cleaning up our fuels. If in the future you have questions about my intentions, I suggest you ask me.

In the meantime, the governor appears in the letter to be backing off his stance that the “next logical step” in negotiations on a transportation package is for the Senate to pass a proposal.

I ask that the Senate negotiate a package among both caucuses that can garner a majority of votes in your chamber. When you develop such a proposal, I commit to working with you to find the needed votes on a package acceptable to both chambers. I would not expect you to pass a package on the Senate floor before having assurances the package could win sufficient House votes. I believe this path offers our best chance of success, and I stand ready to work with you.

Stay tuned for a response from King and the Majority Coalition Caucus.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read