Chelan County 12th District State Rep. Keith Goehner has a bill in the state legislature intended to inform drivers how the state's new cap and trade law is affecting gasoline and diesel prices in Washington state. 

House Bill 2050 would require stickers on fuel pumps to disclose the cost of compliance of the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) on the price of fuel. 

Goehner says the new sticker would be in addition to an existing sticker which lists the state and federal gas tax rate. 

"Now we have layered on a whole nether fee, and that is to compensate for those carbon credits that have been purchased by the emitters that have to buy those credits in order to continue to do business in the state of Washington," said Goehner, R-Dryden.  

A number of independent analyses have concluded that about 50 cents of Washington’s current gas prices can be attributed to the new cap and trade law. 

One of those analyses came from the Dow Jones company Oil Price Information Service, which collects fuel-pricing information for AAA and other clients. 

Goehner says the new sticker would provide transparency in how requirements placed on oil companies in the cap-and-trade law is affecting the price of gas. 

"They're having to buy those carbon credits," Goehner said. "And those carbon credits are being passed onto the consumer. And I think the consumer should be aware of not only the taxes that are being paid, but the fees that are being generated, based on the sale of each gallon of gas." 

The calculation to be used in Goehner's bill is the same one that was used by the conservative Washington Policy Institute, which estimated in July 2022 the new climate policies would add around 46 cents to the price of a gallon of gas.  

At the time, the Department of Ecology (DOE) disputed the claim, saying the estimate was incorrect and oversimplified. 

Inslee and other supporters of the state’s climate laws argue the spike in prices is due to price gouging from oil and gas companies. 

Bills from Democrats in the legislature seek to increase transparency for gas prices and oil company profits. 

Last month, a former economist for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) claimed he was told to falsify numbers concerning the impacts of Washington’s Climate Commitment Act on gas prices. 

The former transportation planner said he calculated that Washington’s cap-and-invest law would lead to a 45- to 50-cent increase on every gallon of gas but said his supervisors at WSDOT instructed him to keep that information quiet at the request of the Office of Financial Management. 

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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