Washington Lawmakers Open Debate On Clean Fuel Standard



The gas and diesel you use to fuel your car are some of the biggest sources of greenhouse gasses and air pollution in Washington. Some lawmakers want to change that. 

They kicked off a debate Tuesday that would require lower carbon fuels  — and could cost you more. 

After a decade, House Bill 1110 could reduce Washington vehicles’ carbon pollution to 10 percent below 2017 levels. It would continue to reduce emissions to 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035.

“Petroleum-based fuels are by far the biggest contributor to climate change (in Washington). … This is the area with the greatest urgency that we reduce those impacts,” said Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, and chair of the House Environment Committee.

Lawmakers say this rule would be similar to other clean fuel standards already implemented in Oregon and California. 

Fitzgibbon said those states have shown “that this is achievable.”

Environmental groups say reducing greenhouse gas emissions would improve air quality and could create jobs, as more clean fuel technologies are developed, like biodiesel or renewable natural gas.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said the county supports clean fuel technologies and greenhouse gas reductions. “To meet our climate goals, low carbon fuels need to be more widely available for public fleets and private consumers,” he said.

Industry opponents say it would come with a price increase at the pump and isn’t the best way to reduce emissions.

“Promises of an economic boon in (California and Oregon) have gone unfulfilled,” Jessica Spiegel, a spokeswoman for the Western States Petroleum Association.

Copyright 2019 Northwest Public Broadcasting

Artificial turf found in the Puyallup River on Nov. 11, 2020, after the materials flowed into the river from a construction project on the Electron Hydro dam in the summer of 2020. Photo courtesy of the Puyallup Tribe.

Electron Hydro dam could face largest fine for environmental crime in Washington history

Electron Hydro dam and its chief operating officer could have to pay the largest fine and restitution for an environmental crime in Washington state history.
COO Thom Fischer and the company, pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor permit violation for allowing the toxic contaminants crumb rubber and artificial turf to flow into the Puyallup River during a construction project. Continue Reading Electron Hydro dam could face largest fine for environmental crime in Washington history