Rep. Orcutt says DOE overstepping its bounds with proposed greenhouse gas reporting requirements for employers

“They are trying to implement something that the Legislature specifically said ‘no’ to, which is either a negligent oversight or a gross abuse of power,” says Orcutt


Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, issued a strong warning today to the state Department of Ecology for proposed rules that go far beyond the scope of legislation passed by the Legislature.

“They are trying to implement something that the Legislature specifically said ‘no’ to, which is either a negligent oversight or a gross abuse of power,” Orcutt said.  “The courts have made it abundantly clear that administrative agencies are creatures of the Legislature without inherent or common-law powers and must strictly limit their operations to those powers granted by the Legislature.”

Orcutt’s main point of contention is a proposed agency rule that would required third-party verification of greenhouse gas emissions reported by employers.  He said the 2008 law passed by the Legislature specifically removed all mention of third-party verification.

Orcutt issued a

letter today to DOE Director Jay Manning saying that: “Third-party verification was not envisioned by the Legislature as part of its reporting requirements when HB 2815 passed in 2008.  In fact, the language that may have supported such a process was removed from the bill.”

Orcutt believes mandatory third-party verification is an unnecessary burdensome step and inserts a foreign influence into the greenhouse gas emission reporting process.  He said the reporting process should remain between employers and the government that represents the people.  The law merely requires employers to report greenhouse gas emissions.

“If the Department of Ecology has concerns about the quality of the reporting, then the government has the obligation to police the transaction, not any other entity,” he said.

Orcutt said it was unreasonable to think that employers can bear the cost of further bureaucratic regulations at a time when unemployment is at record highs and the economy continues to struggle.

The only businesses available to do third-party verification are out-of-state companies.  As such, Washington employers would be sending money to other states at the worst possible time.  Orcutt also has serious concerns about giving out-of-state, third-party entities access to Washington employer records and information.

“Especially in these tough economic times, I am against increasing costs on businesses and their consumers, diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars out of state, and holding Washington businesses hostage to the schedules and whims of other companies,” Orcutt said.  “Now is not the time for state agencies to make ‘end runs’ around the Legislature to enact expensive, punitive and burdensome regulations.”

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Contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer, (360) 786-7698


Washington State House Republican Communications