Representing Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, I was one of dozens of constituents who went to Olympia on April 4 to testify before the Senate Transportation Committee regarding HB 1110, which proposes a lower carbon fuel standard for our state.
The committee was scheduled to convene at 1:30 p.m. It convened at 5:30 p.m. following the full Senate session.
Most of us stayed. It is that crucial a bill and issue for our time.
Chair Steve Hobbs opened the meeting, made no apologies for the delay, and then, because of the large number who had signed in to speak and the late hour, limited our comment time to 90 seconds.
Later he would shorten that to 60 seconds.
He went on to let us know that two “intriguing” amendments had been added to the bill, at his instigation, that would tax the “bio” portion of bio diesel and would allow industries to pay a $6/metric ton of CO2 fine in lieu of complying with a lower carbon fuel standard. He asked that our comments be directed primarily to fiscal issues.
None of us had been able to review the amendments for the sake of comment.
Were any of us heard? Pro or con, were any of us truly heard?
Our legislative process allows for public comment. In the instance of this important legislation, the public was short changed.