Schmick Calls On Ecology To “Fix The Problem”
Despite assurances it would not happen when proposed by Governor Jay Inslee and cleared by the Washington legislature in 2021, cap-and-trade is impacting farmers across the Evergreen State. While farmers and those that transport food are to be exempt from the 40 cent per gallon tax, many have been paying it since implementation January 1st. In response, Colfax Representative Joe Schmick has proposed legislation that would reimburse farmers for those cap-and-trade fees. Schmick said the head of Ecology told a fellow lawmakers that the Department has no plans to fix this error. That interaction served as the nexus behind House Bill 1780.
Schmick says his message to Ecology and Olympia is a simple one.
“Get it done and do it. And since then they've been in my office. They say ‘well we have no we have no say on the private market’ you know what they can do, and what they can't do. And we kind of got into an argument over that. My bill just basically says OK, the farmer should be able to send in their receipts monthly and get reimbursed”
Under provisions of the bill, Ecology must create a program for those whose fuel use is exempt from the cap-and-trade program, including fuel used for agricultural purposes and certain marine and aviation fuels. How’s Schmick’s legislation being received in Olympia?
"I see a lot of finger pointing, frankly. You know you know how that is. I'll point at this guy, and that guy's going to point at them. Take responsibility. You passed this, you know that this is wrong, let's fix the problem.”
House Bill 1780 remains in Committee. Click Here to learn more about HB 1780.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org