Revisiting the RCW could be a pathway to address agriculture's continued subjection to the carbon price.
On Thursday, November 2, the Director of the Department of Ecology (DOE), Laura Watson, announced the decision to integrate Washington's carbon market with California and Quebec.
Despite an explicit exemption from paying a carbon price under state law, the agriculture sector is expected to pay $74 million this year alone under the state’s cap and invest program. Since January, the state has consistently refused to reopen the statute to address this discrimination. With the possibility of linking with other carbon markets, the state will be required to amend the law to allow linkage and the Washington Farm Bureau (WFB) views this as another opportunity to rectify the unjust costs imposed on agricultural transportation.
Bre Elsey, WFB Director of Governmental Affairs, stated "It’s unfortunate that Ecology officials propose changes to the Climate Commitment Act to link carbon markets, but won’t consider fixes to overcharging farmers and ranchers millions of dollars. As the legislature prepares to reassess its cap and invest program, the Washington Farm Bureau urges the state to correct this injustice inflicted upon the industry and provide restitution for the damages already incurred due to the state's failure to honor its own laws.."