Fuel Exemptions Workgroup

Washington’s cap-and-invest program is an economy-wide program that employs market mechanisms to create a financial incentive for the state's largest emitters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Entities that supply fossil fuels that, if combusted within Washington, would emit 25,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases are “covered entities” under the cap-and-invest program and must comply with the requirements set forth in the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) and its implementing regulations. However, the CCA explicitly exempts emissions from certain types of fuel or categories of fuel usage, including: 

  • Emissions from watercraft fuels combusted outside of Washington
  • Fuels used for agricultural purposes by a farm fuel user
  • Fuels used to transport agricultural products on public highways (through 2027)
  • Fuels used for aviation purposes

The goal of this workgroup was to facilitate a collaborative and solution-focused dialogue to ensure that maritime, agricultural, and aviation customers are able to benefit from the exemptions set in state law. The workgroup focused on providing policy clarifications and developing best practices that can be applied, under existing law, to ensure that all fuel suppliers, distributors, and customers are aware of these exemptions and that end-users are not paying surcharges on exempt fuels.

Interim guidance

In early 2023, Ecology issued interim guidance on reporting and documenting exempt fuels under the cap-and-invest program. The interim guidance provides clear, detailed suggestions on reporting and documenting exempt emissions. Ecology also produced a certificate designed to help fuel suppliers document agricultural and maritime exemptions.

Workgroup Report

Ecology issued a report to summarize the workgroup results and solutions for moving forward. We will continue to work with covered entities, fuel suppliers, and fuel distributors to encourage the quickest possible adoption of these solutions. We will also continue to provide end users with accurate information so that they can avoid impositions of improper surcharges or additional costs on exempt fuels, and to obtain refunds. 

Fuel Exemptions Workgroup Report

Past meetings

The Fuel Exemptions Workgroup convened from June 2023 to September 2023 for meetings every two weeks. We emailed all meeting agendas and summaries to workgroup members and posted meeting materials after online.

Meeting dates

  • Thursday, June 22, 2023, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 29, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 13, 2023, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, July 27, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Workgroup members

Fuel Exemption Workgroup members were representatives of businesses, environmental organizations, agriculture, environmental nonprofits, and state government. Members represented the following groups:

  • Agriculture Interests (cattle, grain, potatoes, onions) – Mark Streuli
  • Agriculture Interests (onions, potatoes, wheat, shellfish) & Washington Independent Energy Distributors – Diana Carlen
  • American Waterways – Peter Schrappen
  • Association of Washington Businesses – Peter Godlewski
  • bp – William Truemper
  • Christensen  – Glenn Thomas
  • CHS – Ryan Hoch
  • Clean and Prosperous Washington – Isaac Kastama
  • Climate Solutions – Kelly Hall
  • Coleman Oil Company – Ian Coleman
  • Connell Oil – Brad Bell
  • HG Sinclair – Jeremy Price
  • Lynden Inc. – Robert Makin & Stephanie Sears
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation – Brian McDonald
  • Northwest Agricultural Cooperative Council – Ben Buchholz
  • Office of Attorney General – Lisa Gafken & Tad O'Neill
  • Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association – Kim Brunson
  • Petrocard – Jason Vassar
  • Philips 66 – Sourabh Pansare
  • PTL Marine – Britta Abramson
  • Tidewater Transportation and Terminals – Aaron Degodny
  • U.S. Oil & Refining Co. and Par Pacific – Dallas Scholes
  • Washington Association of Wheat Growers – Andy Juris
  • Washington Cattle Feeders Association – Jack Field
  • Washington Conservation Action – Darcy Nonemacher
  • Washington Department of Agriculture – Julia Terlinchamp
  • Washington Farm Bureau – Bre Elsey
  • Washington Independent Energy Distributor – Lea McCullough
  • Washington Maritime Federation – Chad See
  • Washington State Dairy Federation – Jay Gordon
  • Washington State Potato Commission – Tony Wisdom
  • Washington State Tree Fruit Association – Jon Devaney
  • Washington Trucking Associations – Sheri Call
  • Western States Petroleum Association – Jessica Spiegel
  • Western Washington Agriculture Association – Kara Rowe