OLYMPIA – A House bill aimed at increasing the safety around oil transportation on land and water has cleared a key committee.
The House Finance Committee on amended and passed House Bill 1611. It awaits a vote by the full House.
The version that passed Thursday would raise the tax that is collected on crude oil received by vessel or trains by 2.5 cents a barrel, from 4 cents to 6.5 cents.
The measure, however, would not make pipelines that receive crude oil pay a per-barrel tax as proposed initially.
The bill would also require tug escorts and other safety measures for certain oil tankers.
Rep. Gerry Pollet, a Seattle Democrat, says the bill fills an important need to increase safety and it provides reliable funding to respond to spills.
Rep. Terry Nealy, a Republican from Dayton, called it an unnecessary tax increase.
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