We appreciate King 5’s article shining light on the fact that farmers are charged a carbon price under the CCA. While good information, there are some clarifications that must be addressed.


On Wednesday, May 24th, King 5 published a news report regarding the continued costs on agriculture as they are illegally faced with a carbon price under the new Climate Commitment Act (CCA).

Click here to read King 5’s article titled: “Washington farmers fume over fuel surcharge”

In the immortal words of Paul Harvey, here’s “the rest of the story.” King 5 begins their article by spotlighting the impact that the carbon price charge is having on Jason Vander Kooy, a veteran dairy farmer in Mount Vernon. King 5 reports that the “fuel surcharge from [Jason’s] supplier is costing the farm $400 to $500 per day.” That amount is being charged each day to one dairy operation. Now, multiply that number by the number of dairies across Washington and the amount of money that the state is illegally taking from agriculture jumps substantially. Finally, imagine the costs being imposed on farmers of all varieties and commodities across the state and the number is simply crippling

King 5 states that there are “no fines for suppliers” who do not follow the law. In actuality, suppliers are charging the carbon price to cover the cost of the allowances they must now purchase under the new law. 

“If a covered entity or opt-in entity fails to submit penalty allowances as required by subsection (1) of this section, ecology must issue an order or issue a penalty of up to $10,000 per day per violation, or both, for failure to submit penalty allowances as required by subsection (1) of this section.” (WAC 173-446-610(3)) 

The threat of such steep penalties is what compels suppliers to continue charging the carbon price as they have not been provided by the Department of Ecology (DOE) with the tools to do otherwise. DOE has an obligation “to implement the provisions of the program” and ensure the exempt user is not charged.  

Finally, King 5 quotes Luke Martland, DOE’s CCA Manager. Mr. Martland’s sentiment, “We have a lot of sympathy for the farmers” rings exceptionally hollow. During the past five months of working to find a path forward, DOE has consistently resisted every solution that was presented by agriculture, stakeholders, and the legislature, to fix this problem.

Despite this resistance, WFB will continue to work with policymakers and stakeholders to defend agriculture and call on DOE to stop dragging their feet and fulfill their legal obligations under the CCA. 

WFB works to advocate for its members and the sustainable future of agriculture. If you would like more information about supporting the work of WFB and the value of membership with this organization, please visit our website at www.wsfb.com

Fuel truck
© 2024 Washington Farm Bureau · design : hemisphere