Governor attempts to shift blame for Washington’s tops-in-nation gas prices, Gildon says


Phillips 66 refinery at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham.


Sen. Chris Gildon, R-Puyallup, released the following statement in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal targeting Washington oil refiners for passing the cost of the state’s new cap and trade program to consumers. The program, launched in January, sent gas prices soaring. Washington now leads the nation in gas prices, according to data collected by the American Automobile Association. Last week Gildon and 42 other lawmakers wrote the Department of Ecology, suggesting changes to administrative rules that would reduce pressure on Washington gas prices. Gildon said:

“The governor is trying to spin a made-in-Olympia disaster into a conspiracy by oil companies. He promoted cap and trade and promised the state it would cost pennies on the gallon – and today Washington has the highest gas prices in the country.

“The program so far has cost Washington industry $857 million, and that money has to come from somewhere. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in environmental economics to recognize oil companies are merely passing the cost on to consumers.

“Last week I joined 42 lawmakers last week in calling for changes to administrative rules at the Department of Ecology that could reduce the devastating effect of this program. The governor said we ‘aren’t being honest’ and we want to ‘allow more pollution.’ No, we are interested in avoiding pain at the pump, a shock to our economy, and misery for struggling families.

“We shouldn’t be surprised that oil companies are doing exactly what everyone expected them to do. Sadly, we also should not be surprised that the governor wants us to believe he bears no responsibility.”