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Eye On Olympia

Fueling concern…

As a lot of western Washingtonians discovered last month, when the lights go out, so do the gas pumps. Wind storm damage that left some neighborhoods without power for a week left some drivers desperately searching for powered stations to fuel up their cars.

“There was a real sense of fear out there that if you went looking for gas, you’d run out before ever finding any,” said Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland. “People were driving by huge stores of fuel that were inaccessible without electricity.”

So Goodman has proposed a bill to issue siphon hoses to every Washingtonian — no, no, wait — has proposed a bill that would require large gas stations to be capable of running off a generator during power outages. Part of their costs to comply could be taken as tax credits. (Small gas stations averaging 125,000 gallons or less pumped per month would be exempt.)

“It’s not realistic and it’s unsafe to ask people to store emergency supplies of gasoline,” he said.

The bill’s slated for a hearing next week.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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