BURIEN, WA - Washington State Governor Jay Inslee held a news conference in Burien today to discuss oil industry profits and proposed legislation for price transparency and accountability. He says two things are happening that are unfortunate and unacceptable: extreme disasters and price gouging.
Inslee says those industries are gouging Americans with their prices. In fact, he says several days ago, the spokesman for Chevron reportedly said it is not that company's job to go bankrupt.
In January, a suite of policies will be brought to state lawmakers in an effort to fix the issues and hold the oil and gas industries accountable.
Inslee says Washington residents have had a "belly full" of price gouging and they will take action to stop it.
Representative Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy), the ranking Republican on the House Environment and Energy Committee, says Washington State has the highest gas prices in the nation because of the governor's cap-and-trade program that took effect in January.
"Governor Inslee's new climate mandate, which is the most expensive of its kind in the nation, has forced fuel prices to rise by 50 cents per gallon in our state. This means about 500-dollars more to the average Washington family per year. This program is costing consumers three times more than the Legislature was told," Dye says. "Washington's inflated fuel prices are not because of big oil, but because of big government gouging Washingtonians."
Washington has the eighth-highest gas tax in the nation at 49.4 cents per gallon, yet Dye says there are "terrible roads, unreliable ferries, an alarming increase in traffic fatalities, and horrible traffic congestion. Combine this with the cap-and-trade hidden tax, it means nearly one dollar of every gallon of gasoline goes to state government, not big oil."
"Idaho ranks eighth best in the nation for quality of road conditions, yet their residents pay at least a dollar a gallon less for their fuel than Washington. Idaho's government is taxing less and providing better services," Dye adds. "These fuel prices are affecting everyone in our state, from the costs at the grocery store, to moms and dads just trying to transport their kids to daycare and commute to work. Those citizens and the pain they are feeling in their budgets are our first concern. The governor championed this law and he needs to accept the state's responsibility of these higher prices."
Watch the press conference HERE.