WA Gov. Jay Inslee responds to state’s high gas prices

In an interview with KIRO 7 Tuesday, WA Gov. Jay Insee responded to the recent rise in gas prices in the state.

On Friday, MyNorthwest.com reported the state’s gas prices were the highest in the country and we asked the governor who was to blame, and if the state’s cap and invest program was playing a role.

The cap and invest program sets limits on emissions and requires businesses to buy allowances.

Inslee pointed to the oil and gas profits that he said are the highest of any state.

He also noted a pipeline that was reportedly shut down for maintenance.

“That has a restrained supply and that has been a significant reason for these recent cost increases,” Inslee said. “It’s not all this law, but we need to take an action that will prevent this gouging that is going on and the legislature is going to have this as soon as we get back there in January.”

However, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Washington State and federal gas tax of $0.7078 is the 5th in the country, behind Illinois ($0.858), California ($0.835), Pennsylvania ($0.806), and Indiana ($0.723), as of Feb. 2023.

The Washington State gas tax includes the state tax of $0.494 plus an oil spill administration tax of $0.04 a barrel ($0.0009523/gal), the oil spill response tax $0.01 a barrel ($0.000238/gal), a hazardous substance tax on petroleum products of $1.20 a barrel ($0.0286/gal), a “Border Zone Area Motor Fuel Tax” of $0.01 a gallon for counties that border Canada and another tax on petroleum products that is based on the value of the petroleum multiplied by .0015.

The total for these additional taxes is approximately $0.0298.

According to AAA, scheduled work on BP’s 299-mile Olympic pipeline has also caused recent rises in gas prices at the pump.

“Gasoline supplies are already fairly tight with demand in the U.S. above nine million barrels a day for the fourth week in a row. Factor in the work being done on the Olympic pipeline, and that’s a recipe for rising pump prices in Oregon and Washington,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Relatively low crude oil prices in the upper $60s and low $70s are helping to keep pump price hikes from being dramatic this week.”

Watch his full interview with KIRO 7 News below.

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