Reps. Dye and Connors propose gas price relief checks (‘CAR’ payments) to Washington drivers


The state’s cap-and-trade program – passed by Democrats and Governor Inslee in 2021 – has boosted Washington’s gas prices to among the highest in the nation, forcing motorists to cut their travel and other expenses. State House Republicans have a plan to provide relief to drivers in the 2024 session. John Sattgast reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: It’s called the Carbon Auction Relief or “CAR” Payment Program. The proposal by Representative April Connors of Kennewick would send excess revenue from the carbon tax to vehicle owners in the form of a check.

CONNORS: “That could be up to 100-dollars per registered vehicle. So, for a family driver of two, that would be about 200 dollars. We’re hoping that those overages could be, when you renew your car tab the next year, up to 250 dollars per registered vehicle or up to 500 dollars a family.”

SATTGAST: Since taking effect in January, the state has collected far more from cap-and-trade auctions than anticipated. Businesses have passed those new costs to consumers in the form of higher gas prices. House Republican Environment and Energy Leader Mary Dye says it’s wrong for the carbon tax to enrich state government on the backs of Washington families.

DYE: “It’s your money. It’s just not right that agencies and policymakers spend that money. This money needs to go back to the people who’ve earned it.”

SATTGAST: Connors’ proposal wouldn’t change efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It would simply use the excess carbon auction profits to provide relief to struggling Washington families.

John Sattgast, the state Capitol.

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