City Endorses WA Low-Carbon Fuels Standard
September 9, 2014 – Today over 60 municipal leaders called on the governor and the state to implement a clean fuels standard, calling the policy a smart investment in Washington’s health and economy. In an open letter sent to Governor Inslee, the elected leaders cited job creation, small business growth and providing consumers more choice at the pump among the benefits of increasing production of clean, low-carbon fuels in Washington.
The signatories represent cities, counties and ports from across the state – from urban hubs to rural communities – indicating broad support for pursuing cleaner transportation options. Cars and trucks represent the largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State, and many jurisdictions are eager for state action to complement their local efforts at addressing the problem.
City of Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett noted “our community has a long history of commitment to sustainability, including many measures to decrease emissions and improve air quality. Yet electric vehicles, solar energy, and carbon offsets are just part of the story. With a mandate for cleaner fuels, all Islanders could really do their part to reduce the statewide carbon footprint.”
“Working toward cleaner fuels presents a win-win for our state’s health and economy,” said Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, one of the letter signers. “A clean fuels standard will help us clean up our air and generate a growing portion of our fuels right here at home, spurring innovation and job growth in our local economies,” Stuckart said.
Companies across the state are already hard at work developing clean fuel technology, and the existing agriculture industry is identifying opportunities to supply the raw material for locally-grown clean fuels. A clean fuels standard would reward that innovation and create jobs, while requiring fuel distributors to gradually lower the pollution rates of their fuels over time. That will help keep more of the $14.3 billion Washingtonians spend on fuel each year here at home.
In June, Governor Inslee issued an Executive Order on Climate calling for the Office of Financial Management to conduct an economic analysis of a clean fuels standard for Washington. Since then, OFM has worked with independent experts, interagency staff and technical consultants to study the economic benefits of a Clean Fuels Standard in Washington. The analysis is expected to be completed this fall.
A Washington standard could integrate with successful similar policies in California and British Columbia, and Oregon legislators are determining how to move forward on their state’s Clean Fuels Program. Adopting and maintaining low-carbon fuels standards is a key pillar of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy signed last fall by Governor Inslee along with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, California Governor Jerry Brown and British Columbia's Premier Christy Clark.
For more information, visit www.cleanfuelsjobs.org
City of Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett noted “Our community has a long history of commitment to sustainability, including many measures to decrease emissions and improve air quality. Yet electric vehicles, solar energy, and carbon offsets are just part of the story. With a mandate for cleaner fuels, all Islanders could really do their part to reduce the statewide carbon footprint.”
To view the complete letter to Governor Inslee, click here.
For more information on the City's Sustainability programs, visit www.mercergov.org/sustainability.
Or contact City Sustainability Manager Ross Freeman with questions at (206) 275-7662.