Municipal Leaders Call for Clean Fuel Standards

Press Release from the Washington Coalition for Clean Fuels Jobs

66 elected officials statewide announce support for low carbon fuel policy

Today 66 municipal leaders called on the governor and the state to implement a clean fuels standard, calling the policy a smart investment in Washington’s health and economy. In an open letter sent to Governor Inslee, the elected leaders cited job creation, small business growth and providing consumers more choice at the pump among the benefits of increasing production of clean, low-carbon fuels in Washington.

The signatories represent cities, counties and ports from across the state – from urban hubs to rural communities – indicating broad support for pursuing cleaner transportation options. Cars and trucks represent the largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State, and many jurisdictions are eager for state action to complement their local efforts at addressing the problem.

“Working toward cleaner fuels presents a win-win for our state’s health and economy,” said Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, one of the letter signers. “A clean fuels standard will help us clean up our air and generate a growing portion of our fuels right here at home, spurring innovation and job growth in our local economies,” Stuckart said.

Companies across the state are already hard at work developing clean fuel technology, and the existing agriculture industry is identifying opportunities to supply the raw material for locally-grown clean fuels. A clean fuels standard would reward that innovation and create jobs, while requiring fuel distributors to gradually lower the pollution rates of their fuels over time. That will help keep more of the $14.3 billion Washingtonians spend on fuel each year here at home. A growing number of Washington-based businesses, including over 50 companies that placed an ad in the Daily Olympian in April, support a clean fuels standard.

In June, Governor Inslee issued an Executive Order on Climate calling for the Office of Financial Management to conduct an economic analysis of a clean fuels standard for Washington. Since then, OFM has worked with independent experts, interagency staff and technical consultants to study the economic benefits of a Clean Fuels Standard in Washington. The analysis is expected to be completed this fall.

A Washington standard could integrate with successful similar policies in California and British Columbia, and Oregon legislators are determining how to move forward on their state’s Clean Fuels Program. Adopting and maintaining low-carbon fuels standards is a key pillar of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy signed last fall by Governor Inslee along with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, California Governor Jerry Brown and British Columbia's Premier Christy Clark.

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Below are additional statements from letter signatories:

Dow Constantine, King County Executive "An aggressive clean fuel standard is a key element of the climate-smart roadmap we’re creating in King County and across the state. The clean energy decisions we make now – everything from where our fuel comes from to the choices we make about transit investments – will shape our success in building healthy communities and moving our economy forward."

Connie Ladenburg, Pierce County Council "Here in Pierce County we're the proud home of one of America's first public transportation fleets to convert to alternative fuels," said Ladenburg, who represents the 4th Council District. "Residents and transit customers appreciate Pierce Transit's commitment to cutting costs and keeping the environment clean. A clean fuels standard can help replicate our success in towns, cities and counties across Washington."

Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council (President) "Working toward cleaner fuels presents a win-win for our state’s health and economy. A Clean Fuels Standard will help us clean up our air and generate a growing portion of our fuels right here at home, spurring innovation and job growth in our local economies.

"Companies across Washington are already part of the clean fuels supply chain. From dairy farmers in Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties, to biofuel producers in Greys Harbor and King County, to canola seed growers and processors right here in Eastern Washington. An expanded market for clean fuels will encourage more companies to invest here, and purchase more locally-grown feedstock."

Jon Snyder,Spokane City Council "Fuels options and prices are key considerations for farmers and workers in rural communities throughout eastern Washington. Right now, local producers of alternative fuels are at a competitive disadvantage with large fuel importers. A Clean Fuels Standard will help level the playing field for these local producers to compete on a fair, open market."

Shari Winstead, Mayor of Shoreline "Here in Shoreline we’re on a path toward a sustainable, prosperous future. Cleaning up our fuels supply is a key part of that path, for the health of our kids and strength of our economy. A Clean Fuels Standard provides for our community and our state a firm commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation fuels in Washington while providing local producers the certainty they need to invest in our alternative fuels economy."