January 12, 2014
Inslee unilateral low-carbon requirement could raise gas $1 per gallon

Governor Inslee is serious about carbon. He plans to unilaterally begin a carbon cap and trade system and low-carbon gasoline. Really? When asked to deny it he would not. He promised other governors he would do this. Washington State Wire Of course, he won't break his promise to his peers. His promise to the voters about taxes? Oh, the voters! He says it's not a tax.

The cost: Inslee's new standards requiring low-carbon gasoline could raise the price by $1.00 to $1.20 per gallon. He doesn't see why that would bother anyone.

"I find that very surprising," he said when told of the lawmakers' concerns. "We've had dozens of meetings over many months about these things, and not once has anyone come to me and said we have to make a choice between people getting to work every day and failing to deal with the problem of climate change." Olympia Report

The legislature is trying to get a transportation package together and is talking about a gas tax increase of 10.5 cents per gallon. They know the voters will object to that. But Inslee is sure it will be worth pay $1.20 per gallon to end global warming, I mean, climate change. Not that it will make a difference in the whole world. But he wants to lead by example.

He can't imagine a problem for his big dream.

Does the governor have the authority to do such a huge change all by himself?

See also Washington State Wire.

Update: "Would" changed to "could" in title and text. Posted by Ron Hebron at January 12, 2014 08:32 PM | Email This
Comments
1. "Does the governor have the authority to do such a huge change all by himself?"

Why not? Øbozo has set the pace for making it up as he goes along and to heck with the law.

Posted by: alphabet soup on January 12, 2014 09:15 PM
2. " He doesn't see why that would bother anyone."

...and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Inslee is so out of touch with the people that he isn't qualified to be governor.

Posted by: Monterey on January 13, 2014 12:51 AM
3. Deceitful post by Ron Hebron. The gas tax would go up by 20 cents, not $1.20.

Posted by: SmoledMan on January 13, 2014 09:49 AM
4. Ron,
It is interesting the words you chose in your write-up. Specifically, you stated the following:

"The cost: Inslee's new standards requiring low-carbon gasoline would raise the price by $1.00 to $1.20 per gallon."

Except, the problem is your linked articles do not state this. Your second link includes the following:

"Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday ignored pleas from leaders of both parties and both houses of the Washington State Legislature to deny rumors he intends to impose by executive fiat a cap-and-trade plan that could raise gasoline prices by an estimated $1 to $1.20 a gallon."

There is a big difference between "COULD" and "WOULD." Where is your source that prices "WOULD" raise that much?

I performed a Google search and found none (so far), even from petroleum friendly sources.

Also, if you look at the Washington Wire article, there is nothing in it that states the non-binding agreement (what the article calls it) will raise Gas Prices by the amount you state. The first linked article doesn't even mention gasoline. The only mention of the word "price" is related to Carbon Emissions.

So, Ron, did you make up this number, or do you have the source that gas prices WOULD rise $1.00 to $1.20 per gallon? Seems like fearmongering to me.

I will add that I don't care for Inslee (didn't vote for him and never have really cared much for him). The idea itself may be silly, but your reporting needs to be accurate. You can't just make stuff up. Inslee has plenty of on-the-record bad decisions, it doesn't help your cause to make things up.

Posted by: tc on January 13, 2014 09:50 AM
5. Coulda, shoulda woulda. Is the tax on the consumers? the product? the producers - or ALL THREE?

I read an article about the flight from high tax blue states to low tax red states. Right now WA is about even: those moving in barely equal to those fleeing the state.

Inslee seems eager to change that statistic. You reap what you sow, Jay.

As for authority? Well he seems to be taking his cue from the Incompetent in chief, famous for ignoring the Constitution he purportedly taught and should know. And why wouldn't he - The Incompetent has gotten away with it so far.

I found it interesting that tc doesn't care much for Inslee. A young, very liberal activist (he's a lobbyist) I know said the same thing and confessed in a whisper at my son's birthday party that he voted for McKenna.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on January 13, 2014 11:49 AM
6. Rags,
Actually, from what I found, it isn't a tax as far a consumers. I believe the effect would be on the companies, which would pass it onto consumer through the base price of the product.

There are a lot of speculation regarding Carbon Cap and Trade's effect, but no definitive model yet to really tell what the actual economic impact may be. It varies on bill to bill which have been proposed in the past. From what I have seen, since NW get's most of its power from Hydro, the Cap and Trade's effect would be less here than other states that really, for example, on coal for main electrical generation.

What is known is "would" (past tense of will) is not the correct word to use.

Posted by: tc on January 13, 2014 12:28 PM
7. The estimated $1.00 to $1.20 rise in gas prices is from the OLYMPIA REPORT link.

The cost in dollars and cents to the economy and to the lives of Washingtonians is impossible to actually calculate as the unintended consequences on so many things is affected. The price of energy is already influenced by politics enough.

Posted by: Kevin R. on January 13, 2014 02:43 PM
8. "The estimated $1.00 to $1.20 rise in gas prices is from the OLYMPIA REPORT link."

With no footnotes, references, or description of the methodology used. The numbers just magically appear -- believe them or not as you will. Given that The Olympia Report is a product of the Freedom Foundation, it's safe to assume the majority of voters - the ones who elected Gov. Inslee -- won't choose to so believe.

"The cost in dollars and cents to the economy and to the lives of Washingtonians is impossible to actually calculate..."

Actually, these calculations can be made; there's just no evidence that anyone here, or the sources used here, have done so.

Posted by: tensor on January 13, 2014 03:45 PM
9. Yes we already have to much taxes here and when a new Stud comes into office he is seeking to better the last one there with taxes. They all say that they will not tax you but never send you a jar of Vaseline along before they start telling you how bad things are & needing more money. It is a never ending sucking the tax payers dry just another face with the same bunch of lies ( or is it false statements) as it seems to take a professional liar that gets the office. Regardless of the party's !!

Posted by: ed vaile on January 13, 2014 03:53 PM
10. Kevin @7
However, the linked article used the word "could." Whereas, Ron used the word "would." One is there is the possibility, the other is from the standpoint of certainty. No credible analysts can predict a speculative outcome at this date. If one looks at the bills proposed in the past, there was wide variances to the effects they may or may not have on energy prices (as a whole). They could affect prices by 20 cents, they could affect prices by over a dollar. There is no model of certainty, especially since the actual legislation is still to be written. It also depends on what part of the country one was in.

What can be said, is BC has implemented some of the ideas and the results have been mixed. I say mixed, because it depends on which side of the equation you are on. The effort has spurred economic growth in the energy industry, but at the same time BC gas prices are a lot more (when translated liters to gallons).

Cap and Trade is not a silver bullet. It is one idea. The issue for the US would be first even getting some legislation to debate. In spite of the governor's wishes, Can and Trade as US Policy most likely won't be going anywhere given the current political climate in DC. What Inslee signed was really a meaningless pledge. Of course for the state rights advocates, maybe they welcome Washington state taking up action on their own. I remain skeptical that Washington State can do anything without the Federal Government being involved. Lots of luck with getting Congress to act. The House sure the heck won't take up. They hardly are going to act on immigration reform, even though it could be in the House GOP's interest to do so. You think they would even come close to discussing Cap and Trade?

Posted by: tc on January 13, 2014 03:56 PM
11. At # 6,

Could your points be more pointless?

As a matter of historical fact, nearly every time any liberal increases taxes, if approved it always results in higher taxes than what they initially claim. That is how tax-and-spend economics works. While no one knows (yet) what the exact increase will be, it hardly matters; we know it will be a bad deal for consumers.

You further claim, "Actually, from what I found, it isn't a tax as far a [sic] consumers. I believe the effect would be on the companies, which would pass it onto consumer through the base price of the product."

So you "believe" and argue that a tax increase on the base price of products is not a defacto increase to consumers? Or must "companies" when confronted with a tax increase simply adjust and forgo profits?

Either you are a very young (and petulant nitpicking) child wet behind the ears with absolutely no comprehension of basic economics or - as an adult (liberal) simply another silly embarrassment to yourself.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 04:32 PM
12. Governor Inslee is serious about carbon because he is a moron with a brain smaller than a Spanish Peanut. Carbon tax? Why not a "Moron Tax?" He could nail over 70% of the Seattle area and even though liberals would be the only ones reasonably penalized, they would probably approve the new tax.

Inslee's plans to unilaterally begin a carbon cap and trade system and low-carbon gasoline is illegal but why would he care; he is an arrogant moron who does what he likes regardless of the consequences.

Will he ever tell the truth about this? Of course not. He is emboldened by videos of Obama and other liberals open lying arrogant corruption and the fact that they get away with it. The fact that other liberals are dumb enough to pretend that lying is not lying if it furthers their idiotic power grabs only makes people like Inslee more absurdly pathetic figures.

Inslee "can't imagine a problem for his big dream" because he is an idiot followed in the Seattle and Olympia areas by a herd of idiots.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 05:07 PM
13. BTW, at # 10,

Cap and Trade is decidedly a silver bullet to the heart of business and a terribly stupid wasteful power grab with no purpose or rationale to support it.
It is one hell of a BAD idea.

Anyone that cares about what is good for our society understands this fact.

Liberals neither care about nor understand this because they are conditioned to believe anything so long as there are no facts or rationality associated with it.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 05:15 PM
14. "Could your points be more pointless?"

tc's main point is that Ron took a conditional statement, and re-stated it as an absolute. That's a very large point to those of us who believe in the integrity of language.

"I read an article about the flight from high tax blue states to low tax red states. Right now WA is about even: those moving in barely equal to those fleeing the state."

Since the federal government spend more money in the "red" states than it collects in taxes there, and less in the "blue" states, it would seem your argument is with the federal government. Without the subsidy provided to the "red" states by the federal government, those states would have to raise taxes to pay for the level of government services they receive.

But here's some help for your population question: the Census Bureau estimates the population of Washington state recently grew faster than did the population of the United States. Either we have a very high birth rate, or people like to move here! :-D

Posted by: tensor on January 13, 2014 05:42 PM
15. At # 14, wrong.

Language has no integrity, and this is a diversionary tactic.
Because tc has no argument to make concerning the article or its substance, he uses a transparent tactic of meaningless caviling about nothing.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 05:59 PM
16. The true point of this article is how completely insane people can become.

Inslee stated that "I find that very surprising . . . " That, "[w]e've had dozens of meetings over many months about these things, and not once has anyone come to me and said we have to make a choice between people getting to work every day and failing to deal with the problem of climate change." Olympia Reporter

Inslee is on the public record in numerous instances (dozens of meetings) where he ignored arguments made by Republicans who resisted approval of a carbon tax on the basis of the immense cost to consumers and the impact to our local economy.

Inslee is outright lying and people are debating a quoted cost as though -- in context -- it matters.
In fact when we should be reducing our Gas taxes, I have high confidence that with a "carbon tax," the cost would be much higher than $1.20 per gallon.

The mere idea that we would cripple our local economy to solve a non-existent problem (climate change) invented by political opportunists, is an insult to every Washingtonian and a testament to the rank stupidity of anyone that would vote for a dishonest moron like Inslee.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 06:40 PM
17. "Language has no integrity, and this is a diversionary tactic."

Maybe your language lacks integrity, as Ron's does here; tc has a long-established reputation for writing incisive, well-informed comments. While I do not always agree with tc's points, he always makes them well.

"Because tc has no argument to make concerning the article or its substance,"

His argument is that Ron's argument has no substance, just a possibilty presented as an actuality.

"...he uses a transparent tactic of meaningless caviling about nothing."

Project much?

Posted by: tensor on January 13, 2014 08:15 PM
18. At #17,

Again, diversionary tactics with no substance or argument concerning the subject at hand.

So . . . rather than a commentator, you are tc's blog lawyer?
Your own tactics are cheap, feckless and boring.
What is he (or she) paying you?

Wise up, stop embarrassing yourself, or continue to amuse everyone with your feeble evasive nonsensical crap.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 08:27 PM
19. A revealing story on what Soviet communism did to their environment.

The same things will eventually happen here as the modern Seattle Soviets like Inslee pass their environmental decrees. Everyone knows the Seattle Soviets do not really care about the environment but instead just want another tax to squander paying their sycophants for their votes.

Because, for example, does anyone really believe Obamacare is going to improve health outcomes? Of course not because it removes freedom, incentive, personal responsibility and wealth, which as the article noted above are the same missing elements that destroyed the Soviet environment.

Posted by: Mike on January 13, 2014 08:32 PM
20. Tensor,

Do you actually have any argument concerning Inslees' idiotic "dream" to impose a carbon tax on Washington State or are you just farting around here playing the usual stupid evasive liberal games?

In other words, are you one of those morons that voted for Inslee?

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 13, 2014 08:49 PM
21. Mike, the reason the Soviet Union became an environmental disaster was a basic conflict of interest: the same people who were in charge of enforcing the environmental protections also had to meet production quotas, and so ignored environmental responsibilities in favor of more stuff -- the Bolshevik version of more money. Also, the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the country meant the persons in charge could appoint incompetent cronies without proper oversight.

We realized this problem during W.'s maladministration, when his un-elected self appointed drones from industry to positions in government. They clearly saw their roles as protecting their once and future paymasters from legal goverent oversight, rather than protecting us from the predations of polluting industries. (Then there were the flatly incompetent cronies, like the infamous Brownie.)

An even bigger irony here is that we do have a large problem with socialism: pollution is the socialization of cost. A polluter shifts the cost of doing business onto persons who realize no gains from that business. Cap & Trade is one method of introducing market discipline onto such freeloaders. Opponents of socialism, champions of market economies, by definition oppose unregulated pollution, and welcome the effeciencies of a market-based approach.

Posted by: tensor on January 13, 2014 10:09 PM
22. "So . . . rather than a commentator, you are tc's blog lawyer?"

No, just a fellow reader, who appreciates the positive contributions tc makes here. Jealous much?

"...just farting around here playing the usual stupid evasive ..."

At least I don't use half a dozen words ("tactic of meaningless caviling about nothing") where one ("caviling") would do.

Posted by: tensor on January 13, 2014 10:27 PM
23. To the hollow imaginings of a shameless pretender like Tensor, the supposed Bolshevik version of "more money" included environmental protections.

The Soviet elite recognized the terms of treaties as important to the American public, but they saw them as tertiary (and useless) bargaining chips in other far more important treaty negotiations including (Nuclear) Arms Control. The left was always duped by this and the right resisted it. To those of the "Tensor mentality' the Soviets put a huge one over on us. And when Reagan kicked the Soviet's asses, the left scampered like the shameless cowardly rats they are.

As a ruling cadre, the Soviet Union had no conception of environmentalism let alone environmental protections.
Their singular abiding interest (raison d'être) was absolute control over their people.
People like Tensor are too stupid and hide-bound to recognize this obvious and undeniable fact.

Listen, tensor, you idiot, American engineers that lived in the Soviet Union at Americas' behest routinely reported that the Soviets did not give a shit about the environment. Who the hell are you?

You know nothing about that which you pretend.
You are an idiot who voted for Inslee.
Why not quit while you are behind?

Posted by: Amused by Liberal morons on January 13, 2014 11:31 PM
24. Add my vote to those who recognize Inslee as a moron.

Posted by: jb on January 14, 2014 01:08 AM
25. Add my vote to those who recognize Inslee as a moron.

Posted by: jb on January 14, 2014 01:08 AM
26. ...the supposed Bolshevik version of "more money" included environmental protections.

Please learn to read. I clearly described the conflict of interest which led to the environmental degradations within the Soviet Union. (I also drew the lesson that a similar thing could -- and did -- happen here, luckily for us on a smaller scale.)

...American engineers that lived in the Soviet Union at Americas' behest routinely reported that the Soviets did not give a shit about the environment.

Yes, and Loren Graham, one such American engineer, wrote about it. His book, "The Ghost of The Executed Engineer," notes how Soviet and American industrial policies sometimes produced similar results. Thank you for agreeing with my point.

You've gone from using half a dozen words where one would do, to using dozens of words where none would do. Why not quit while you're wasting only most of your effort?

Posted by: tensor on January 14, 2014 07:57 AM
27. Why didn't you quit while you were behind?
Because you are an idiot who voted for Inslee.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 14, 2014 09:20 AM
28. Why didn't you quit while you were behind?
Because you are an idiot who voted for Inslee.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on January 14, 2014 09:20 AM
29. Now you're posting multiple comments when none would suffice! Get help, man! :-)

Meanwhile, Ron has not answered tc's question, "... do you have the source that gas prices WOULD rise $1.00 to $1.20 per gallon?" Neither does Ron seem to care about the origin of those figures. I boldly predict a terse "Closing comments" statement from Ron, maybe with a swipe at tc for invalidating this post so swiftly.

Posted by: tensor on January 14, 2014 12:32 PM
30. Tensor,
Thanks.

Amused,
I am a bit surprised by your tone in your comments. Normally, you are better (at least towards me) in your responses. I don't have time to go in depth, so some bullets to what you wrote:

1. My initial comment's main point was two-fold, one to point out Ron's change of wording, and two, to reiterate, which I have in the past, I am not an Inslee supporter. Do you agree or disagree that Ron changed the meaning of what was wrote in the linked article? If he didn't please explain how a possible outcome becomes an almost likely outcome. Would is a tense of will. This convey's certainty that Ron did not provide evidence to back up his claim. You would require that of us, those who may have different views than you, why do you not also require it of Ron?

2. My response to Rags was to raise the point that Can and Trade is not a tax on individuals. I should have used direct tax. It doesn't for instance add a direct revenue stream to say gasoline. If you want to consider indirect effects on consumers as a tax, then this opens up a large discussion that is beyond the scope of this post. For example, does given tax breaks to certain companies in essence force a tax on consumers of products of those companies that don't receive the tax break? How many interactions away from the end purchase is a government regulation (or lack of regulation) a tax on consumers?

My second point in response to Rags is to state that there were competing bills in the past on Cap and Trade. Each one had different economic models. To assume one economic model for all proposals would be silly. One has to look at the legislation in question to even start to score the economic model for something as complex as the energy industry and how Can and Trade would affect prices in the different market segments. Ron's post assume that any Cap and Trade idea will equate to higher gasoline prices. This assumption is false. One cannot make that leap without actual legislation to see which energy segments are involved. A Cap and Trade legislation may be narrowly defined and not even effect petroleum production, or may be very broad and effect petroleum production. Now, if a petroleum producer also is in say the coal business and decides to pass on the expense from one segment to another, then you can't call that a tax. That is the business decision to continue in one market as a loss leader and pass on that expense to another market segment consumers. My point is, you can't know the actual effects until you see the legislation. Which also means, that it isn't something Inslee can unilaterally implement, as Ron suggests. Any changes to industry regulations, such as Cap and Trade, have to go through the legislative process.

All the "paper" agreement Inslee signed was stating his intent to push for this, not that it actually will happen. For which I say, what is the news? Inslee already was for this. He campaigned on this very issue. There is nothing new in him signing the paper. It just reiterates a view Inslee has already presented in the past.

Again, I am not an Inslee supporter. Also, I will add, I am not necessary a fan of Cap and Trade. To me it is one idea that is worth consideration, but depending on the final legislation, may not be workable. It is one thing to have a good idea, it is another to try to write legislation to implement the idea. You could say that about Obamacare, one of your whipping boys, which I support. I would agree that the final legislation is not perfect and needs some fixing. It doesn't mean the idea of trying to expand coverage for the uninsured isn't a good idea. It doesn't mean that there are good parts to the law. I view it as an evolutionary idea that is a start, but can use improvements as we go along.

3. Finally, in my post to Kevin, I reiterated my main point, which Tensor also stated, that Ron changed the meaning. I also brought up the example of British Columbia. From them, and some European Countries, like Germany, we can start to gain an understanding and learn what works and what doesn't work when it comes to Cap and Trade. The point being, if we implement this market concept (it is one way of addressing the issue), then we can learn from those who have implemented some of the ideas and improve upon them. Would you rather we blindly implement ideas that have proven not to work?

In the case of BC, the results have shown innovation in the energy market and some movement towards more environmentally friendly energy technologies. I don't know if their regulations impacted directly their price of fuel. I do know, their price of fuel is higher than ours, but that may be to taxes they add. One would need to look at the wholesale cost to determine the impact of BC's Cap and Trade regulations, of course adjusting for the base (barrel) price of oil and amount of domestic versus foreign oil Canada/BC purchases.

A final word: If you want to be abusive in tone for me, then I will not respond to your comments further. If you want a discussion and can stay civil, I will try to answer any questions you have and hold a discussion.

Posted by: tc on January 14, 2014 12:56 PM
31. Anonymous tc and anonymous tensor, correction accepted. "Would" should be "could." And Inslee won't say he won't impose cap and trade without the Legislature. In all your words I didn't see you comment on that.

Give us the links to your blogs where you explain everything cogently. I can't close your blogs.

Posted by: Ron on January 14, 2014 05:00 PM