State Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released a statement on Friday arguing two state environmental laws that took effect on Jan. 1 were already causing a rise in fuel prices.
According to Schoesler, he was informed by the Washington Independent Energy Distributors Association that gasoline and diesel prices have risen as a result of the state’s newly implemented low-carbon fuel standard and cap-and-invest, which Schoelser refers to as “cap-and-tax,” laws.
Both laws were passed by the Legislature in 2021 but did not take effect until Jan. 1.
Schoesler said data he has seen showed a gasoline price increase of 33.06 cents per gallon due to the cap-and-invest law while the low-carbon fuel standard had increased prices by about 1.54 cents per gallon. The price of diesel also rose by 42.35 cents due to the cap-and-invest law and 1.45 cents due to the low-carbon fuel standard, he claimed.
“The wholesale fuel prices that I saw clearly show that ‘cap-and-tax’ and the low-carbon fuel standard are forcing fuel prices to increase at eastern Washington gas stations, and western Washington gas stations likely will see a similar hike. This contradicts claims by the governor and some of his allies that ‘cap-and-tax’ and LCFS will cause fuel prices to go up by only a few cents a gallon,” said Schoesler.
Schoesler also claimed heating-fuel prices have also risen in recent days, adding there was another two months of winter ahead.
“Ever since these two laws were passed by the Democrats and signed by the governor, I’ve warned that they will force fuel prices to significantly increase. Now that these laws have gone into effect, we’re seeing that they indeed are causing hikes in fuel and heating-oil prices,” Schoesler said. “This will hurt nearly everyone — commuters, parents taking their kids places, truckers and delivery drivers, and those working in agriculture. These increases will act like a gas-tax hike, but with no guaranteed benefits for our roads and highways.”
A spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee had not responded to The Chronicle’s request for comment as of the newspaper’s deadline.