Even allies are having a hard time covering for Inslee’s gas tax lies
For weeks now, the highest gas prices in the country have regularly been found in Washington state. This can easily be tied to Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade gas tax on which he has continued to mislead and even outright lie to the public. Now, even his press secretary is distancing himself from Inslee’s comments.
Most recently, Inslee has repeatedly blamed part of the reason for high gas prices on BP’s Olympic Pipeline being closed for maintenance – even weeks after the pipeline had been reopened. In a news conference on July 20, he blamed the pipeline for high gas prices on seven separate occasions, saying, “That pipeline is going to come back. When it comes back, there’s a fair chance these prices can be ameliorated.” In truth, the pipeline was only closed for a few days in June, reopening fully on June 27.
He’s being called out for the inconsistency. “Blaming the brief pipeline shutdown for the highest gas prices in the nation is nonsense,” said Sen. Curtis King in a statement. “Gas prices have been on a steady rise since January, and it is caused by the cap-and-trade program.”
Even Inslee’s own team can no longer cover for him. After this latest gaffe, spokesman Mike Faulk said no one had informed their office that the pipeline was open and the governor’s comment was simply an ad-lib. “That was really a footnote to the fact that oil companies are making more than they ever have with no transparency around the prices they charge consumers,” he said. In other words, Faulk wants to make sure he does not take the blame for Inslee’s comments.
This is not the first time the governor’s comments on his gas tax have been less than truthful. When experts warned that the program would be certain to increase gas prices he said, “The oil and gas industry projections around any of this are halfway between hogwash and baloney.” Rather than a sharp rise in prices, he promised, “This is going to have a minimal impact, if any. Pennies. We are talking about pennies.”
Instead, experts estimate Inslee’s policies are responsible for around 50 cents of every gallon of gas. That’s a lot of pennies.
And leaders from a dozen Washington tribes are raising concerns about the effects of the state’s new carbon-cap system on gas prices and tribal sovereignty. The tribal leaders were rebuffed by Inslee when they attempted to find a remedy.
Meanwhile, the agricultural industry was promised an exemption that has yet to materialize. Since the taxation is done at the refinery level, it will be nearly impossible to keep that promise. Almost immediately after the tax went into effect, the Washington Farm Bureau began receiving calls from producers saying their costs had skyrocketed as a result. For now farmers are caught in the middle with no relief in sight.
Inslee has made a lot of promises about this gas tax, and it seems unlikely he ever believed any of them. Now, he’s trying to pass the blame where it simply doesn’t go. As the lies begin to become more obvious, even traditional allies like Native American leadership and his own spokespeople are having trouble backing him up.