My First Bill

Rep. Condotta’s Fuel Tax Sticker

My opponent’s first bill (the one lowering standards for admission to teacher education programs) was written by an outside organization, so I thought I’d try my hand at starting closer to the beginning. Long story short, this bill adds carbon dioxide content to the fuel tax stickers that started showing up on fuel pumps a couple of years ago. The original brainstorm came from Republican Representative Gary Condotta of Wenatchee, in 2017. Rep. Condotta did not seek reelection in 2018.

Rep. Condotta’s fuel tax sticker program was just a 2-year pilot program, but there was a bipartisan effort, HB 1633-S, to make it permanent in the 2019 legislature. It got stalled and will be considered again in 2020. My bill is based on the current 1633-S.

Most people are surprised when they learn that burning a gallon of gasoline produces 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, but it’s true. Here is the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s list of fuels and their carbon dioxide contents — diesel weighs in at 22.4 pounds per gallon, which makes sense because there’s more energy in a gallon of diesel. Here’s an explainer about it all.

Anyway, it is exactly because most people are not aware of how much carbon dioxide their cars produce that my bill is needed. These days it goes without saying that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is largely responsible for global heating, but here’s a recent story about current scientific opinion.

Naturally, some people will change their habits, if they can, upon realizing the impact of driving more than necessary. It’s a very small step, but it’s also a very inexpensive step: Rep. Condotta’s program only cost $3,000 per year.

So here’s the draft bill, with thanks to the cosponsors of the original 1633-S. Like the original, my bill would make the carbon dioxide-fuel tax sticker program permanent.

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