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Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, offered this kickoff statement as the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee held its first meeting of the 2021 legislative session on Jan. 12. Ericksen is ranking Republican on the committee, which, under Democratic leadership, is planning to consider a raft of sweeping policies including low carbon fuel standards and cap and trade. Ericksen maintains such controversial proposals should not be considered in a session where the public is being kept at arm’s length due to COVID precautions, and that the Legislature’s focus should be on relieving the disruption caused by emergency lockdown orders.
“I’m here to represent the positions and policies of my district, and what I am hearing for my people right now is that COVID relief needs to be our top priority. My businesses are dying, my people are unemployed, restaurants are shut down, the Canadian border is shut down, and while I appreciate the commitment and effort on climate change, cap and trade and carbon taxes the good chair has put forward, I think if we want to unite Washington state and bring people together, we need to focus on COVID 19 relief, and not on controversial issues that the people have defeated, such as carbon taxes. I have great respect for the chair, but I also have great respect for the people I represent who are suffering greatly under the COVID 19 lockdowns right now, and that needs to be our focus.”