Governor’s attack on oil refiners diverts attention from real cause of high gas prices, MacEwen says

Inslee’s cap and trade program gives Washington the most expensive gasoline in the nation

Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Shelton, Republican lead on the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, responded Thursday to a proposal from Gov. Jay Inslee targeting what he calls ‘monster profits” by oil refiners. Inslee was the prime mover behind cap and trade legislation in the Washington Legislature. The program, which took effect in January, caused gas prices to skyrocket, and has given Washington the highest gas prices in the country. MacEwen said:

“The governor would like us to believe that Washington’s highest-in-the nation gas prices are somehow the fault of oil companies. What we are seeing today is the predictable result of legislation that was designed to drive up the price of gasoline in the first place.

“The oil refiners are merely passing along to consumers the rather substantial cost of the state’s new cap and trade program – about 45 cents a gallon. Washington gas prices shot up when the program launched. The price increases we have seen in this state match the cost of the program rather precisely. We’re not seeing this anywhere else, just in the one state of the union that launched a cap and trade program this year.

“Under this program, Washington industry will have to pay the state more than a billion dollars next year. Only the naïve would believe it would absorb costs so enormous. The governor owns this disaster. He promised us that cap and trade would cost pennies on the gallon. He ought to be looking at ways the Department of Ecology can change administrative rules, so that he can deliver on his promise.”