OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, today responded to public comments recently made by Gov. Jay Inslee that attempt to divert attention from evidence in a Washington Policy Center blog showing the governor knew it was false to claim his “cap-and-trade” tax on carbon-dioxide emissions would not increase gas prices, or would do so only by “pennies.”
“During the Legislative Preview, we heard the governor avoid giving straight answers when asked if he and his staff misled the public intentionally about the true cost of his carbon tax. Instead of taking responsibility, he said Republicans overestimated the possible impact, his own Department of Ecology was wrong, and oil companies should show him appreciation. He ultimately dodged the point of the question by pointing to the goals of his policy, implying the ends justify the means.
“The governor continues to point fingers at everyone else for how his carbon tax has driven up gas prices here in Washington. Yes, gas prices have fallen recently all across the country, but it’s due to seasonal and market influences. His gas tax is still there. Washington still has the third highest gas prices in the nation because of his carbon tax. The harm from that tax isn’t excusable just because market fluctuations help hide it.
“The reality is that Republicans and others accurately predicted the CO2 tax would increase the price of gas from 49 to 51 cents per gallon. We said the damage COULD be higher, based on how the program was working in California. It turns out the governor’s office initially predicted a similar price jump, then changed course to get public support for the policy by stating the impact would be ‘pennies,’ or the prices would actually go down. Even worse, the Department of Transportation – an agency he oversees – apparently pressured one of its economists to change his predictions and lie. When he refused the agency forced him out.”
Read Sen. Braun’s previous statements about the cap-and-tax program:
- “Did Inslee’s OFM and WSDOT pressure staffer to lie about expected price increases?” (Dec. 1, 2023)
- “Attorney General’s office tells PSE to hide reason for increase to your power bill” (Aug. 30, 2023)
- “Governor’s ‘Cap and Gouge’ program responsible for highest gas prices nationwide, says Braun” (July 20, 2023)
- “Just in time for summer driving, Inslee cap-and-tax scheme pushes Washington gas prices to highest in nation” (June 21, 2023)