A study released today predicted a loss of more than 11,000 jobs in a five-year period should Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to impose lower carbon fuel standards be adopted in the state.

In addition to lost livelihoods, the study funded by National Federation of Independent Business minced no words in calling the governor’s LCFS (Lower Carbon Fuel Standards) what it believes it actually is: a tax on gasoline.

The study, Private Sector Disemployment Effects of a New Low Carbon Fuel Standard in Washington State, was done by NFIB’s Research Foundation using the most sophisticated economic modeling (REMI PI+) to draw its conclusions.

“Imposing taxes of this magnitude on the consumption of gasoline in Washington would easily make Washington the state with the highest gasoline tax in the nation,” wrote the study’s author, Michael Chow, senior data analyst. “All other things being equal, businesses will have to pay more in energy costs to produce the same amount of goods and services.”

“We’ve heard politicians say addressing climate change is a ‘moral imperative,’ ” noted NFIB’s Washington State Director Patrick Connor. “But how is it moral, or just, to deprive 11,000 families of their livelihoods – and force every Washington family to pay more for fuel in a quixotic quest that will have a negligible effect on global climate?”

The small business advocacy group argues that, at a minimum, Washington families deserve to have this issue debated, fully and openly, in the Legislature, rather than decided by a hand-picked few and implemented by executive order or agency rule.

The study can be read here in its entirety.

NFIB claims more than 8,000 dues paying members within Washington.