Inslee's Pain in the Gas


110 Legislative Modular Building, PO Box 40402, Olympia, WA 98504 | 360.786.7602 | Jim.McCune@leg.wa,gov

Oct. 2, 2023

Special Alert from Sen. Jim McCune:

Inslee's cap-and-tax scheme leads to sky-rocketing gas prices for Washingtonians


Dear friends and neighbors,

Gas prices are up 32% since Legislative Democrats and Governor Inslee enacted new taxes this year.

While the rest of the country has seen gas prices come down in recent months, Washington drivers have seen the cost of gas skyrocket. According to AAA, our state’s $5.12 per gallon is $1.29 per gallon higher than the national average of $3.83 per gallon. 

There is no mystery as to why Washington fuel prices have climbed, and climbed quickly. At the start of the new year, the price of gas was just $3.84 per gallon for regular unleaded gas, but the price has jumped 32% since Jan. 1, the same day Governor Inslee's cap-and-tax program went into effect.

This is not an accident. Inslee’s policies are based on a strategy of making gas so expensive that ordinary families won't be able to drive, and will be forced to turn to inefficient and poorly run public transportation systems. In the meantime, their cap and tax scheme will rake in billions of dollars for government to spend on its climate agenda and special interest allies.

In addition to raising the cost of commuting and driving to accomplish to basic tasks of life, this policy is also making it more expensive for many people to heat their homes because it will raise natural-gas prices, causing fuel and heating prices to soar.

Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-partisan, non-profit organization working to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in government, called the Washington State gas price increase a harbinger of catastrophe.

Instead of taking responsibility for the harm their policies have created for average Washingtonians, the Governor and his allies have decided to scapegoat oil companies, blame the war in Ukraine and gaslight the public, as though higher energy costs was not the administration's goal from the start. To make it worse, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has adopted a strategy of hiding the costs of cap and tax from ratepayers. You can read more about that below. 

Families and individuals cannot afford this. Senate Republicans have a plan to lower gas prices immediately, and this will be one of our top priorities both now, and once lawmakers return to Olympia for the 2024 session.

As always, it is an honor to serve as your voice in Olympia. 


full signature

Sen. Jim McCune, 2nd Legislative District

NOTE: New carbon taxes from Legislative Democrats and Governor Inslee are having gas prices soar, hurting low-income families and individuals the most. While the goal is to force consumers to buy electric vehicles, many working class and low-income Washingtonians simply cannot afford an electric car. It is the epitome of an arrogant, "let them eat cake" attitude among government elites and their radical left allies. 

In the News:

Is Inslee’s plan working?


Our state’s sizzling gas prices, second highest in the nation, have been described this summer as annoying, painful, even scandalous, depending on who’s doing the talking.

But here’s another aspect to expensive gas that leaders seem shy to acknowledge: It’s working.

...Pump prices have been further ratcheted up this year by the state’s new climate change policy, the Climate Commitment Act. Charging for pollution was one of the main purposes of that 2021 act, the theory being that higher costs for dirty energy would push consumers into greener, cleaner alternatives.

“Although it’s politically very awkward to talk about higher fuel prices, from an environmental economics perspective, that’s kind of the point,” James Bushnell, an econ professor at the University of California, Davis, told The Seattle Times this summer.  

Click here to read the full article.

In the News:

AG advised utilities to conceal carbon tax impact on energy rates

gas stove

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a request by Puget Sound Energy to increase its natural gas rates to cover the costs of the state’s cap-and-trade program under the Climate Commitment Act.

However, the approval also carried with it a stipulation that the utility provider could not show on customers' bills the reason for the rate increase, a decision that was recommended by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

...In a blog post, Washington Policy Center Environmental Director Todd Myers wrote that “this is not only dishonest but violates the spirit of Washington’s laws and constitution. The position of the Public Counsel in the Attorney General’s office is that they know what the public should know and what they shouldn’t. The claim that transparency is bad for the public is remarkable and revealing.”

Click here to read more.

NOTE: Democrats blame oil companies for high gas prices, but their policies like cap-and-tax are responsible. Attorney-General Bob Ferguson goes further to omit its impact on your utility bill. Washingtonians deserve transparency and accountability!


Cap-and-tax scheme's hit on our agricultural communities


My colleague Sen. Mark Schoesler, a wheat farmer from eastern Washington, recently talked with the Lars Larson Show about how the Democrats' “cap-and-tax” program hurts the agricultural community and the rest of the state economy as gas prices continue to skyrocket due to the scheme.


Contact us!

I hope you will stay in touch. I am interested in your thoughts about state government, and I hope you will contact my office.

I can be reached by phone at (360) 786-7602 and by email at It is an honor to serve as your voice in Olympia.