The Current | February 6, 2015

2015 legislative session • February 6, 2015 • 26th day

The Current

Letter from Leadership 

Dear Friend: 

This week started off with a collective feeling of disbelief over what happened in the Super Bowl. Slowly but surely, people returned to their normal routines and it was back to work in the Legislature. While there was no House floor action this week, several bills were heard in House committees. You can expect many of them to reach the House floor in the upcoming weeks. Please stay tuned. 

Governor Inslee's fuel mandate 

One of the big developments this week happened outside of the Legislature. Governor Inslee wants to change what's in the gasoline we use through a fuel mandate, or what he calls a clean fuel standard, and released a discussion document on the issue Wednesday. It appears he would like to circumvent the bipartisan legislative process to implement his plan.

This fuel mandate, among other things, would raise the price of gas and many of the products we buy. It would also likely require that biodiesel or ethanol be blended with gasoline or diesel. According to a recent report from a left-of-center environmental institute, this is a bad idea. The report says claims for biofuels have been dramatically exaggerated and they represent a misguided approach to fighting global warming. This recent New York Times article also points out that new science is challenging the assumptions underpinning many pro-biofuel policies.

The governor's fuel mandate is not an original idea. Oregon initiated a system in 2009, via the Legislature, that went into effect February 1. However, its future is uncertain. This issue is controversial and complicating their transportation tax package debate. The Oregonian editorial board has even called for Governor Kitzhaber to resign over his handling of environmental policies, including the fuel mandate, opining: "Who knew following the trail of clean energy money could make you feel so dirty?"

It would be very unfortunate if Governor Inslee bypasses the Legislature on an issue that would affect everyone across our state. Fortunately, you can have a say in the matter. You can find a list of public meetings here. You can also share your comments by using this form or e-mailing them to: Please let your voice be heard on this controversial issue. The deadline is March 4.

Twitter and Facebook town hall

A special thanks to those who participated in our Twitter and Facebook town hall Monday. Reps. Joel Kretz and JT Wilcox were able to answer 16 questions in 30 minutes. You can find a summary here and here. We will host a similar event, but this time focused on K-12 education, on February 17. We hope you can join in. 

In your service,
Rep. Dan Kristiansen
House Republican Leader
39th District

Rep. Lynda Wilson

Rep. Lynda Wilson: Southwest Washington's newest state lawmaker 

Rep. Lynda Wilson, from the 17th District, defeated Monica Stonier in the November 2014 election. A third generation small business owner with a background in banking, the new state lawmaker has been active in community service for years. Learn more about Rep. Wilson, including her legislative priorities, in this video


Promoting new energy solutions and reducing carbon emissions

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (SMCC) unveiled a bipartisan plan to promote new energy solutions and reduce carbon emissions in a news conference Wednesday. At the event, Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, talked about her confidence in, and support of, the plan and its Republican sponsor. 

You can learn more about the proposed measures in this news release. You can also watch the Senate committee hearing from Thursday on the centerpiece legislation, Senate Bill 5735, here and here.

New energy solutions will mean new jobs, and we can pursue these policies while still being good stewards of the environment. The SMCC's approach uses effective strategies to reduce emissions, while not doing it on the backs of working families and small businesses.

Did you know?

Did you know our state's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are well below the national average and have been declining since 1990? This chart illustrates these facts. Washington state also ranks #2 in the country in terms of renewable electricity production when hydropower is considered.  

A radio

Radio: Alive and well in Washington 

Our state has more than 300 radio stations. That's one of the reasons why Washington House Republicans have a dedicated broadcast coordinator, John Sattgast. Learn more about our radio outreach and the state of the radio industry in this blog post.

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