WA lawmakers must fix carbon program that’s hiking gas prices

Washington state now has the highest gas prices in the country and there’s no doubt the price at the pump is hurting families.

People living in rural parts of the state, especially, can’t change their driving habits on a whim. If they live 20 miles away from town, taking public transportation isn’t an option. And few people have the means to simply go out and buy a new vehicle — especially a pricey EV.

What makes the price jump more upsetting is that state officials were way off base when they said the new carbon reducing cap-and-invest program wouldn’t have much effect on gas prices.

In fact, last year Gov. Jay Inslee said the new state tax on CO2 emissions would have “minimal impact, if any” on the price of fuel. “Pennies. We are talking pennies,” he said.

Obviously, that’s not the case. …

Affordable Fuel Washington’s Dana Bieber spoke with the Tri-City Herald this week and said her group wants answers from state lawmakers.

“How did they get it so wrong?” she asked. “What are they going to do about it?”

She claims that the state’s new cap-and-invest program is three times more costly than what state officials predicted. …

Sheri Call, president and CEO of Washington Trucking Associations, said the gas hike is hurting farmers and trucking firms that haul agricultural products.

These groups, among others, were supposed to be exempt from the new carbon law, but Call told the Herald it hasn’t been working out that way. …

Gas prices are higher than they have ever been in Washington state and the hike came right when the cap-and-invest program went into effect.

No matter how Inslee and others put the blame elsewhere, it’s apparent there is a correlation between the new program and the price at the pump.

They need to quit pointing fingers and fix the flaws in the program.

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