The first time I bought tires as a teenager in Washington State, I could only afford retreads and two at a time. This was back in the 80s and times have changed no doubt.

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The days are long gone and you are now pretty much required to buy four brand-new tires when you replace your tires. There is a new bill that might even make it harder to buy affordable tires in Washington State.

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Sen. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, is spearheading a bill, known as SB 6304, that aims to legislate fuel efficiency in replacement tires, potentially eliminating more affordable tire options from the market.

Germany To Require Winter Tires
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Understanding SB 6304 and Its Implications In Washington State

SB 6304 is not the first bill of its kind; similar legislation concerning fuel standards and emissions is becoming more common as states tackle the urgent issue of climate change.

The rationale behind this particular legislative effort hinges on the concept of rolling resistance – the amount of friction generated by tires as they move. Lower rolling resistance equates to higher fuel efficiency, which, in theory, sounds beneficial all around.

Sen. Liias is proposing that efficient tires could lead to substantial savings - up to $770 in gas for the average Washington driver, according to the Department of Commerce.

Moreover, proponents of the bill argue that such measures could reduce emissions state-wide, contributing to broader environmental benefits.

Closeup of car tires in winter on the road covered with snow
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Costs and Benefits Of SB 6305: Perspectives from Lawmakers and Experts

Critics highlight that setting mandatory fuel efficiency standards could inadvertently phase out the most cost-effective tire options currently available.

For families and individuals already struggling to make ends meet, the prospect of pricier replacement tires is a source of stress and financial strain.

I'm not sure how far this bill will get but you can contact your local representative to share your thoughts on SB 6304. 

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