In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee has proposed a Clean Fuel Standard, or CFS, in early February, to be developed by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
On February 4th, 2015, the Department of Ecology released a discussion draft of this CFS, which would be a key step in supporting local job creation and more homegrown fuel sources. E2 issued a press statement in support of this action, and in March offered a letter of support focusing on its economic benefits as well. These efforts were added to a considerable list of other advocates for clean fuels – with people from business, labor, faith, health, advocacy, and other backgrounds, as well as communities of color.
Before the comment period was even complete, however, the State Senate took action to bar the executive rulemaking by including a provision in the prioritized and long-awaited transportation package. This provision states that if a clean fuel standard is implemented, all funds for walking, biking, and transit would go to the roads and highways fund instead (not just this year but for over a decade). For legislators in most major urban and suburban districts, if this provision remains it will certainly mean that moving forward with the CFS will not be a viable option in the future.
This so-called “Poison Pill” is being strongly advocated against on many fronts, but its inclusion in such important legislation presents a big challenge.