Future 42 and Americans for Prosperity-Washington State set gas prices at $3.82 for two hours at a Kent gas station to protest the cap-and-disinvestment program.
KENT, Wash. – Gasoline prices across Washington state are averaging $5.05.
When prices started to rise in early summer, one expert told KING 5 there were a few main reasons for that: supply and demand along with more expensive summer-blend gasoline. However, two groups support conservative policies, Future 42 And Americans for Prosperity-WA (AFP-WA) blames Washington cap and investment program.
The cap and investment stem from a law passed in 2021, the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), which forces the state’s biggest polluters to pay for the carbon emissions they emit .
RELATED: Inslee signs ambitious environmental protection law for Washington state
Governor Inslee’s office sent out a statement regarding high gas prices, reading in part:
“Gas prices are largely driven by supply and demand. Fossil fuel companies have announced that they will pass on CCA ‘compliance costs’ to consumers, but there is little transparency about how they will calculate these impacts and why they choose to pass them on to consumers at the pump when these companies are attracting drivers.
These same global companies are achieving record profits year after year, but some companies like Chevron say Washington’s law alone would ‘bankrupt’ them if they didn’t charge consumers. That’s why Governor Inslee and lawmakers are proposing price transparency legislation in 2024 to address rising prices at the pump.”
Future 42 and AFP-WA have several ways they are trying to repeal the CCA: ballot initiatives, lawsuits, and asking people to talk to their lawmakers about repealing it. To make their point, the groups teamed up with a local petrol station in Kent for two hours on Wednesday morning. They cut gas prices to $3.82, 2 cents cheaper than the national average of $3.84
Even though this was a partisan event, gas tankers were happy for the relief; A total of 200 vehicles were filled.
Emily Velazco graduated from high school this year. When KING 5 asked her why she went there to get gas, she said, “Honestly, my mom just told me to wake up and go buy cheap gas.”
At age 18, Velazco said many of the decisions she made were centered around gas costs, like work and deciding whether she wanted her own place. She says it’s hard to be a young person in 2023 when everything is so expensive.
Jennifer Anderson said she loves living in Washington and sees all the state parks and trails as an added benefit. However, gas prices have made her think twice about going out for a hike. “It’s starting to really make a difference, especially with the price recently going up over $5,” Anderson said.
Anderson added that she is currently filling up gas for her children who are about to learn to drive. She wants to buy an electric car, but can’t afford it right now. Anderson hopes the price of electric cars will decrease in the future so that more people won’t have to rely on fuel-powered vehicles.
The Washington Department of Ecology, which is overseeing the cap and investment program, sent KING 5 the following statement regarding its connection to current gas prices.
“When it comes to gas prices, regulations like the CCA play a role, but most of the price increases we’ve seen in Washington since January 1, 2023, have come from elsewhere. We know that’s because Oregon, which gets almost all of its fuel from Washington refineries but doesn’t have policies like the cap-and-invest program in place, has seen roughly the same price increase identical this spring and summer – albeit from a lower starting point.”