Rising gas prices have many in Yakima wondering if the increases will ever stop. Yakima Sen. Curtis King, the ranking Republican on the Senate Transportation Committee, says Gov. Jay Inslee is trying to deflect criticism aimed at him due to the major role that the state’s cap-and-trade program has played in Washington having the highest gas prices in the nation.

ARE GAS AND OIL COMPANIES PRICE GOUGING?

Inslee has announced he wants legislation in 2024 targeting oil companies he says are taking advantage of Washington residents. But King points out how Inslee pushed for the cap-and-trade program, which went into effect on Jan. 1 as part of the Climate Commitment Act passed by a Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2021.

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KING SAYS PRICE INCREASES WERE PREDICTED BY EXPERTS

“We have known since 2021, when the Climate Commitment Act was approved, that gas prices would rise significantly once the cap-and-trade program went into effect. That is exactly what has happened,” says King, “It’s been much more than just ‘pennies a gallon,’ as the governor promised months ago." King says it was predicted. He says several analysts reached the conclusion that cap-and-trade and other new environmental laws would raise the price of gas by 45-50 cents a gallon.

WASHINGTON IS PART OF A SMALL CLUB OF STATES WITH HIGH GAS PRICES

King says only six states currently have regular gas prices over $4 a gallon - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. “While most of America is enjoying gas prices below $4 a gallon, Washington drivers have had to pay about $5 a gallon for several weeks."  King says thanks to the Inslee cap-and-trade program prices will continue to rise putting major stress on Washington residents.

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