Some in Washington still refuse to blame CO2 tax for high gas prices

Some in Washington still refuse to blame CO2 tax for high gas prices

While experts agree that the high price of gas in Washington is due to Inslee’s cap-and-trade CO2 gas tax, some are still searching for something else to blame. A popular scapegoat is oil companies and supposed price gouging. Sen. Joe Nguyen is adding legitimacy to this claim by moving forward with a bill that would detect price gouging at the pump. 

Nguyen says Washington needs to monitor the fuel market more closely, and his proposed legislation would do so. The legislation mirrors a California law by creating government oversight into unethical behavior. 

But looking to California for solutions on this is the wrong choice. “The working families of the Golden State are currently paying the highest gas prices in the entire country, so anyone who feels the need to copy California’s abysmal energy policies needs a serious reality check,” said Larry Behrens, communications director at energy advocacy organization Power The Future. 

This is simply a diversionary tactic by Nguyen. It’s no coincidence fuel prices in Washington jumped when the CO2 tax went into effect. Even Inslee’s allies agree that the tax is to blame for the rise in gas prices, despite his appointees doing their best to cover for him. They aren’t the only ones – and neither is Nguyen. As Todd Myers, Director of the Center for the Environment at the Washington Policy Center pointed out, legislators who supported the increase had already begun proposing tactics “that would prevent fuel suppliers from making the cost of that tax clear to consumers.” Currently, Washington is second only to California when it comes to gas prices. Just weeks ago, it was in the top spot as the most expensive in the country. 

Our recent polling found that nearly three out of every four Washingtonians support lowering gas taxes to make them more affordable. In September, Future 42 worked in partnership with Americans for Prosperity-Washington, rolled back the price of gasoline to $3.82, the national average for a gallon of gas on that day, at Jackson’s Shell station in Kent. Just before the event, the price of gas was $5.17.

People were waiting in line for an hour before the event even started. We provided some short-term relief, but the goal is to bring much-needed, long-term relief in the form of repealing the cap-and-trade law and have lower gas every day of the year. Lawmakers like Nguyen only make themselves look ridiculous when they try to cover for the CO2 with more bad legislation. Washington is ready for real solutions. 

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