HB 1091 is the Clean Fuels Bill, reintroduced in the 2021-22 session after failing in 2020. It requires reductions in carbon emissions from transportation fuels. The history of the bill in 2020 may affect the progress of the bill for this session:
- It directs the Department of Ecology to adopt a rule establishing a Clean Fuels Program to limit greenhouse gas emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035. The bill passed the house but it had strong opposition in the senate.
- To counter this opposition, an amendment introduced by Senate Environment Committee Chair Reuven Carlyle made passage contingent on funding transportation projects including an I-5 bridge over the Columbia River. The bill passed the Environment Committee but was stalled in the Senate Transportation Committee.
The bill has passed the Environment and Energy Committee and the Appropriations Committee (with amendments), and the Transportation Committee.
Take Action: If you want to comment on the bill directly to your reps, click on the bill number, 1091, and that will take you to the bill information page where you can click on “Comment on this Bill.” Put in your address to find your reps, click next to their names and then click on “Support.” Write in a comment if you want.
In the January 16, 2020 hearing, most of those supporting the bill addressed the need for carbon emissions reductions, and noted that similar action has been successful in California, Oregon and British Columbia. Two opposition arguments are notable: (1) the Washington Policy Center, as it has done with other climate bills, contended that the costs of reducing emissions was too high: $160 per tonne. (2) Senator Steve Hobbs (D, Everett), chair of the Transportation Committee, argued that transportation costs require much more revenue in light of the passage of I-976 and the requirement for changing culverts for salmon migration. He was concerned that gasoline taxes would be impacted by spread of electric vehicles and other changes in transportation.
In a March 2 Senate Transportation Committee hearing a number of truckers opposed the bill and cited a variety of costs of clean fuel, some claiming it would put them out of business. While many environmentalist groups and some businesses (primarily from the biofuel sector) testified in its favor, it was not enough to sway Chairman Hobbs and other members of the committee.