Addressing high gas prices from Washington's carbon reduction policy
  1. United States
  2. Wash.
  3. Letter

Addressing high gas prices from Washington's carbon reduction policy

To: Sen. Wilson, Gov. Inslee, Rep. McEntire, Rep. Walsh

From: A constituent in Longview, WA

May 13

Washington's cap-and-invest program to reduce carbon emissions has contributed to higher gas prices in the state. While the exact impact is debated, evidence shows Governor Inslee was aware over a decade ago that putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions could significantly raise fuel costs. In 2014, Inslee's policy advisor estimated a $52 per metric ton carbon price – nearly identical to the current level – would increase gas prices by 44 cents per gallon. This projection from the governor's office aligns with independent analyses. Yet last year, Inslee downplayed the effect, claiming it would only raise prices by "pennies." Recent state data indicates Washington's average gas price is around 22 cents higher due to the cap-and-invest program, though this is lower than original estimates. Regardless, fuel costs remain among the highest in the nation, straining household budgets. While the goal of reducing emissions is laudable, the policy's financial burden on residents cannot be ignored. I urge you to press for greater transparency from state leaders on the true costs of environmental policies and explore ways to provide relief to consumers struggling with high gas prices.

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