Washington Farm Bureau decries the state’s prioritization of carbon market linkage over fixes to the broken Climate Commitment Act
LACEY – During the 2024 legislative session, one of the top priorities for legislators is to explore the potential linkage between Washington's carbon market and those of California and Quebec. Washington Farm Bureau (WFB) reminds lawmakers that reopening the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) statute presents an opportunity for the state to address damages to the agriculture industry from the Department of Ecology’s failure to create a program exempting agriculture, as mandated by law.
The exemption for both on-farm and on-highway fuel used for agriculture purposes from the carbon price under the CCA has not been honored, resulting in significant financial losses for farmers and ranchers within the first year. Damages are likely hundreds of millions of dollars and counting. The WFB has consistently urged the state to reopen the statute to address this crisis.
Jonathan Quigley, an organic orchardist in Klickitat County, says he has paid hundreds of dollars from an added carbon price for his on-farm red dyed diesel deliveries. “That’s a percent or two of our profit margin that’s just gone off the top right there,” Quigley said. Quigley emphasized that due to higher fuel prices, he is faced with rising delivery costs for supplies as well as higher commuting costs for the farm’s employees.
As a young organic orchardist who is working hard to save and eventually purchase the farm that he already operates, Quigley adds, “the biggest impact [of the CCA] is that it pushes the dream and the hope of farm ownership even further down the road.”
Washington Farm Bureau urges lawmakers to reopen the CCA statute for the state to address damages to the agriculture industry from the Department of Ecology’s failure to create a program exempting agriculture, as mandated by law.