5/10/21 | Ruth Peterson | Olympia~~
Have you heard rumors out there of a “Grand Bargain” in the legislature between the Governor and different factions of the Democrat members? A bargain that will increase our energy prices by, not just cents, but by dollars? Here is the story behind those rumors. If you hear one little peep about a special session, here’s why legislators will head back to Olympia. You need to know what they are planning, and you need to take action now. Let your legislators know what you think about these bills.
The short story is that there are two bills that passed this session that will dramatically increase energy costs for you as a consumer. SB 5126 (Cap and Tax – or as the Democrats call it – Cap and Invest) and HB 1091 (High-Cost Fuel Standards – or as the supporters of the bill call it – Low Carbon Fuel Standards). Let’s take them one at a time.
Cap and Tax SB 5126 (Officially E2SSB 5126)
An increase of $2.41 is the most recent projection about the impact of this policy on gas prices. This is a taxing scheme. It’s not specifically a gas tax, but it will increase the price of gas considerably because it requires a tax on all businesses that produce products that are related to fuel. It is not an added sales tax, but it will increase the price of all products we buy because the manufacturing sector will be hit with this tax. And you can be sure the businesses will not eat the tax. They will pass it on to consumers. The shipping of all products will also increase. That means every part of your life will get more expensive.
The speeches made by Republicans during the debate about this bill on the floor provide very good insight into the problems that will be caused by this legislation. These are all three minutes or less. Please take a little time to listen to them. This policy is terrible. It was bad when it passed the Senate, but it was worse after they changed it in the House.
Only 3 minutes – please listen. Sen. Ericksen speech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUPLhPqt980
A little less than 3 minutes – Sen. Braun – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc78zwP7wGg
Less than 3 minutes – Shelly Short – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbrHAmbDF_M
High Cost Fuel Standards – HB 1091 (officially E3SHB 1091)
This bill copies and even expands on California’s stringent standards of fuel mixtures. This will also increase the cost of fuel at the pump. And it looks like the mileage goes down when you use it, so not only does the price per gallon go up, the amount of fuel you have to use to get to your destination will go up, as well. What does that do? Double or triple the price?
Here are some of the speeches for this bill that explain it a bit better. Again, these are short speeches – please take the time to listen!
Senator Rivers – 5.5 minutes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9WbuUiJvg8
Senator Jeff Wilson – 3 minutes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Byj4ubi43UY
Senator Ericksen (why do I have him here twice? It’s because he’s Ranking Member on the Energy committee, and of course, that means he has been immersed in this issue more than any other member). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG5tE-FszhM
Add this increase of fuel prices to the increases to the previous bill, and you have a crushing cost increase at the gas pump. But wait, there is more!!
These bills both passed the legislature. But there is a catch. Senator Hobbs, the Democrat Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee wants money for roads. You see, while the other two bills will cause you to pay an outrageous amount at the pump for gas, and prices of all other items you purchase will go up, none of that money will go to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Only gas taxes do that. So the “grand bargain” will be that these two bills will not go into effect until and unless the Transportation package is passed – which will increase our gas prices another $.05 per gallon from a direct tax. All direct gas taxes are constitutionally required to be applied to road infrastructure. All the fees and taxes from the previous two bills are not. That means that while we would pay a lot more at the pump for our fuel, we would have no benefit to our infrastructure unless the tax on gas is increased.
Here is the bottom line. If they call us into special session, they will pass the gas tax, and the other two bills will go into effect. You will have a higher gas tax, a cap and tax scheme that has been implemented, and you will have low carbon fuel standards which will increase your gas prices even higher.
Of course, they have us over a barrel. Do you want better roads? Do you want to reduce congestion? Do you want your bridges fixed? The only way to get the money to do that is to increase the gas taxes. But the second that happens, the other two bills go into effect. This is progressive policy on steroids, and this is what your current Democrat party stands for.
There are other speeches besides those I’ve included here – all with different aspects of the destruction to our economy and to our personal lives – especially those of us who live in rural areas. But do not think you are exempt if you live in the urban areas. Transit will be affected, and the price of all goods will go up. If you live in the urban area, these policies will make it harder for you to make ends meet. You need to know this when you next have an opportunity to vote. Democrat policies are damaging to all – no matter what tax bracket you are and no matter where you live. Here is where you can find some of the other speeches. https://www.youtube.com/user/WashingtonSRC/videos
Thank you to those who have provided feedback and asked for more information on the Grand Bargain. You are the ones who encouraged me to write about this issue.
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