A Washington state lawmaker has introduced legislation to provide fuel rebates to farmers impacted by new climate policies.  When Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade bill passed two years ago, it contained an exemption for fuel used to produce and transport farm goods.  However, several farmers and those that transport food say they’ve been paying the additional fee since it was implemented January 1st.  Colfax Republican Representative Joe Schmick said when the new law went into effect, the state Department of Ecology not only broke a promise to farmers but ignored the exemption.


“I had one grower show me a tanker load of fuel; 4,000 gallons. It was 40-cents a gallon for the Carbon Commitment Act.  That's $1,600 extra. That's wrong!"


Under the new law, Ecology was supposed to devise a way to shield farmers from those costs.  But to this point, it has not happened.  In response, Schmick introduced House Bill 1780 to provide monthly refunds to farmers who can document they paid the cap-and-trade surcharges.


"I am giving Department of Ecology a bit of a nudge to do what they said they were going to do. And that is, come up with a way to get that money back into the farmers' pockets."


Schmick said the state, not farmers, should be on the hook for exemption failure.


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 glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com 

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