Washington Governor Jay Inslee is going to make the environment a big part of this year’s Washington Legislature. Part of that plan is reducing the air pollution caused by forest fires.
This legislation being considered will place a $5 surcharge on every property and casualty insurance policy issued in the state. For a family with two cars, the cost with the fee and other items tacked on, will be $15 per year. Businesses will pay more.
The hope is to raise about $60 million a year for forest maintenance. That money will be used to thin trees and burn underbrush.
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is opposed to the measure. Spokesman Mark Sektnan said this mostly benefits “people who live in wildfire prone areas and those who suffer from smoke related ailments. Reducing these ailments, while a benefit to society, is not related to driving a car or owning a home or business in other parts of the state.”
The PIA Washington/Alaska and the PIA Western Alliance is still looking into the details of the bill.
The governor and some members of the Legislature — with support of environmental groups — also hope to do more to reduce the state’s gasoline and diesel fuel footprint.
Part of the reason is because Seattle — unbelievably and unexpectedly — has higher auto emissions per capita than other West Coast cities. That includes Los Angeles.
According to an analysis by the New York Times, Seattle’s auto emission figure is up14% per capita. Portland was down 22%, San Francisco dropped 9% and Los Angeles managed to reduce its emissions by 2%.
The idea is to encourage the making of cleaner transportation fuels. To make that happen, Inslee and the environmentalists hope to add rebates on the purchase of electric vehicles and to put more charging stations around the state.
Another plan is to add biofuels to diesel to make it burn cleaner. And — of course — the Legislature will be looking at adding taxes and fees to the cost of the price of gas and diesel at the pump.
Business interests, builders and the oil industry are opposed. They say this could cost consumers and employers up to $2 billion for new vehicles, fuel supplies and infrastructure.
Source link: InvestigateWest