House Democrats pass costly fuel mandate

2020 legislative session • January 31, 2020 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

We are nearly a third through the 2020 legislative session. This cutoff calendar gives you an idea of the deadlines state lawmakers face over the next 40 days. 

First big floor debate 

The House had its first big floor debate on Wednesday. The issue was House Bill 1110, which would mandate a controversial and costly low-carbon fuel standard in our state.

I could not be more proud of our members and the arguments they made in support of individuals, families and businesses who will not be able to afford this costly fuel mandate. You can watch some of the highlights of our floor speeches here.

While we won the debate, we lost the final vote 52-44. But the debate splintered the other side, with five Democrats voting "no" with us. This matters as the bill is considered in the Senate. We think our fight in the House can impact the outcome in the Senate -- like last year, when the bill died in committee.  

You can learn more about this issue below and at this website.   

Grassroots advocacy

I continue to be amazed at the level of citizen engagement in the legislative process. Seeing grassroots advocacy on issues is inspiring. It's also a reminder that a coalition of motivated people can make a difference in the Legislature. 

Last year, hair designers and cosmetologists coalesced to push back against legislation that would threaten their ability to operate as sole proprietors and individual contractors. This group remains under attack by Democrats and continues to fight effectively for its causes.

Rental property rights and affordable housing 

This year, we are seeing another group come together to fight for its rights: Rental property owners. These are business people who are trying to make a living and help address our state's affordable housing problem. And they care about homelessness. 

I had an opportunity to talk to some of these folks last Friday. They came to Olympia to testify against bills they believe would erode their property rights, add to the cost of rent and reduce the number of units available for rent. And they are absolutely right.  

A recent report revealed our state should have built 225,600 more homes over the past 15 years. I talked about how the Legislature needs to empower the private sector to help address our state's affordable housing problem in my video update last week. I encourage you to watch it. 

We will be back to Olympia on Monday. Enjoy the Super Bowl on Sunday. 


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker

Costly fuel mandate

House Democrats passed a controversial low-carbon fuel standard mandate on Wednesday following a long floor debate. 

House Bill 1110 would authorize the state Department of Ecology to create a clean fuels program, by rule, to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels per unit. It would also eliminate the consumer protection provision in the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation plan that said if a low-carbon fuel standard is adopted, by rule, money would shift from other transportation accounts into the motor vehicle account.

According to the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Fuels Analysis Final Report from September 2019, the new program could come at a great cost to Washingtonians and our state's economy. Specifically, it could: 

  • Raise the cost of gas by up to 57 cents per gallon by 2030.
  • Raise the cost of diesel by up to 63 cents per gallon by 2030. 
  • Result in job losses. 
  • Reduce Gross Regional Product.

House Republicans also argue that the new program would:

  • Be an expensive and unaccountable state bureaucracy.
  • Do very little to benefit our environment and air quality.
  • Not generate any new revenue for transportation infrastructure projects.
  • Increase the cost of construction and add to the cost of housing.

Learn more: 

Rep. Andrew Barkis


One of our legislative priorities is affordability.

Washingtonians should have the opportunity to achieve their version of the American dream. And the governor, Legislature and state government should not be adding financial and regulatory obstacles to the pursuit of these dreams.

Instead of supporting expensive policies, onerous regulations and new tax increases that drive up the cost of living, we must work to make life more affordable for everyone. Here are some of the things we are opposing and supporting in the 2020 legislative session: 

It's Your Home. Expect More.


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