Washington state should not follow California’s lead on energy

Washington state should not follow California’s lead on energy

Bad energy policy has had serious consequences. Washington lawmakers can give residents some relief.

Wherever California lawmakers lead, Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington lawmakers are soon to follow – just look at their recent mandate on electric vehicles. Now, it’s another attack on energy that’s going to hit Washingtonians in the pocketbook.

And as of right now, California lawmakers have led their state to $6 plus per gallon gas prices – nearly 70% higher than the national average – with expensive energy policies. While California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom and their Democrat legislators have attempted to spin these inordinately high gas prices on the “greed” of oil companies, a judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit that claimed traders at oil companies had colluded to keep prices high. 

The issue is bad policy. 

According to a letter to the California Energy Commission from the vice president of a California-based oil refinery, the underlying problem is California has reduced the capacity of its oil refineries as part of its push to phase out internal combustion engines. In the letter, he wrote, “California policymakers have knowingly adopted policies with the expressed intent of eliminating the refinery sector.” 

University of Southern California associate professor of business Shon Hiatt affirmed the statement saying, “We’re operating now in a … tight market. So if one refinery goes off to do maintenance, the prices are going to jump, because we don’t have much slack.”

Energy policy expert Michael Shellenberger says measures state lawmakers should take to truly reduce the pain at the pump include: 

  • Expanding refinery production
  • Cutting gas taxes or implementing a gas tax holiday 
  • Increasing domestic oil production
  • Unleashing shale fracking 

It’s also important that we keep Washington’s decisions in Washington. Instead, many of our decisions are being outsourced to the California Air Resources Board – an unelected regulatory body in California who approved the 100% reduction in electric vehicles. 

The energy policies of California and Washington are being played out on a grander scale by D.C. politicians. In May, President Joe Biden’s EPA shut down a large oil refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Shellenberger WHO? recently reported that “his administration leased less federal land and off-shore areas than any president since World War II. And he and his cabinet officials have repeatedly said their goal is to ‘end fossil fuels.’  At the same time, they attempted to blame gas station owners, refineries and oil producers for high gasoline prices.” 

It brings a new meaning to the term “gaslighting.”

People’s lives are greatly impacted by the high cost of gas and their elected officials owe it to the people who elected them to have an honest conversation about the true drivers of skyrocketing gas prices and offer realistic solutions such as the ones above for bringing them back down. 

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