Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on governor’s response to rising gas prices

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, issued the following statement condemning the governor’s response to rising gas prices. In a recent news conference, Gov. Jay Inslee blamed the oil industry rather than the cap-and-trade program for skyrocketing costs.

“Last week, the current governor and an anxious handful of his supporters tried to blame Washington’s highest-in-the-nation gas prices on a closed petroleum pipeline in the western part of the state. This weak attempt failed because, as several media outlets have pointed out, the petroleum pipeline in question is in fact not closed. It’s fully functioning.

“Separately, the governor has tried to blame ‘corporate greed’ for Washington’s soaring gas prices. That weak attempt has also failed — because, with the cap-and-trade tax scheme in place, government agencies get more money than oil companies do from the sale of a gallon of gas or diesel.

“The time for pointing shaky fingers and playing the blame game is over. The ‘Climate Commitment Act’ cap-and-trade tax scheme is an abject failure. The governor and his supporters need to stop embarrassing themselves and the state and admit the truth: They were wrong about the cap-and-trade program. This tax scheme hasn’t added just a few ‘pennies’ to the price of gas and diesel. It’s the reason gas and diesel prices are the highest in the United States. To pretend otherwise is an insult to the people of Washington.

“The cap-and-trade program needs to be repealed in its entirety. It has increased gasoline and diesel fuel prices in Washington — as well as other energy prices — to the highest in the United States. It does nothing to lower carbon outputs or other forms of pollution. The cap-and-trade scheme is a regressive state tax that hurts working families and people living on fixed incomes.

“I know some of my legislative colleagues would like to attempt to ‘fix’ the failed cap-and-trade program in small measures and reduce some of its costs. However, small measures such as rebates or subsidies may defray some costs, but they won’t solve the problem.

“The time for platitudes is over. The governor needs to call a special legislative session right now, this summer, to address the injury and hardship the cap-and-trade tax scheme is causing. If the governor will not or cannot take decisive action, then the speaker of the state House and other legislative leaders in Olympia should call a special session — as we are allowed to do. This is the time for action. The people of this state deserve relief!”


Washington State House Republican Communications