Governor Speeding Up What He Should Go Slow On

Date: December 17, 2014

Related Content: News State Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash., Dec. 17, 2014—The voice of Washington state small businesses called today’s release of Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon-reduction plan wildly optimistic on the number of jobs it will cost and the price-per-gallon increase it will require.
“We can appreciate the governor’s responsibility to comply with the law limiting carbon pollution, but we have serious disagreement with his estimates that the cost of a gallon of gas will only rise by two cents and that the economic effects to jobs are ‘not significant,’ ”said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Higher fuel taxes are not the answer to what small businesses and our economy needs.  The public has had to breathe in the fragrant results from a lot of quickie polls and data suddenly emitted the past week, but ours used the most sophisticated economic modelling and survey methodology – and they produced significantly different warnings.”
In a letter to legislative leaders today, outlining his plan, the governor wrote that “… gasoline costs might rise by two cents per gallon by 2020 – and the economic effects to jobs, personal income and gross domestic product are not significant, regardless of how markets respond.”
But a study by NFIB’s Research Foundation, using the most sophisticated economic modeling (REMI PI+) to draw its conclusions, predicted job losses up to 11,000 over a five year period, depending on the amount of the de facto fuel increase the governor’s plan imposes on Washington.  
Connor did praise one particular sentence in the governor’s letter, which he hoped the Legislature would hold him to, “To be clear, the proposals I will announce today are intended as the start of a conversation. I am, and will remain, open to other ways to make progress on meeting our state’s carbon limits this session.”
“This issue is just too complex for any state agency to drag the rest of us into a brave new world of the unknown,” said Connor. “Ideally, it would be better to wait and see how California grapples with its new carbon-reduction attempts, which start in 2015, and learn from its mistakes.  Indeed, this is what voters and small businesses demand — they strongly oppose the Governor moving ahead on his own.  At a minimum, however, our Legislature needs to thoroughly vet and approve by vote any new rule proposed by the Department of Ecology.”
Related Information
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
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This issue is just too complex for any state agency to drag the rest of us into a brave new world of the unknown.

Click the graphic above to read the governor's full carbon-reduction plan.

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