Washington State Gas Price Increase is a Harbinger of Catastrophe | Citizens Against Government Waste

Washington State Gas Price Increase is a Harbinger of Catastrophe

The WasteWatcher

The increase in gas prices, which reached a record average of $5.06 across the country in June, is a monumental problem for families and businesses.  Despite the impact of these prices, the state of Washington is about to make matters worse by dramatically increasing the cost of gas in the state.

The Climate Commitment Act, signed into law in 2021, will effectively add 46 cents per gallon to gas prices, which is an 82 percent increase above the state’s existing 56 cent per gallon tax.  It will make gas in Washington the most expensive in the United States.  Under the law, the state will set a cap-and-trade barrier on carbon dioxide by requiring companies to buy bonds (that allow them to pollute) from Washington’s Department of Ecology in auctions.

According to the department, the cost per metric ton of carbon dioxide in 2023 is projected to be $58.21, or $37.61 more than the cost in 2021.  The department’s goal is to limit carbon dioxide emissions state-wide, which will prove disastrous for the people of Washington, particularly low-income families and small businesses.

When questioned about the impending price increases, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) replied that “the cost to consumers will be minimal.”  Washington Policy Center Environmental Director Todd Meyers argued that the department wants less carbon dioxide by driving gas prices up so that its use will go down.  But claiming that the citizens of Washington will not take a financial hit from the Climate Commitment Act, as Gov. Inslee has done multiple times, is lunacy.                                                                                 

The Washington Policy Center also noted the act’s effects on energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries.  By removing energy-related tax exemptions, companies will lose millions of dollars, which may cause some companies to relocate or outsource to their work to other countries, including China, a country known for its heavy pollution.

On October 29, 2021, the Washington Gas Company advised residents to prepare for an increase in heating expenses of about 22 percent compared to the winter of 2020-2021.  When the Climate Commitment Act goes into full effect, heating prices will increase even more dramatically, which on top of the elevated costs of travel, will only continue to harm the people that the state is supposed to help and protect. 

The stipulations of the Climate Commitment Act and their already observable effects will weigh down residents of the Evergreen State.  This will lead to fewer jobs and less affordable means for efficient and effective transportation for everyone in the state, who will be paying abhorrent amounts of money to drive their cars and heat their homes. 

Written by Ben Hartman

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