LOCAL NEWS

Washington’s proposed gas export tax is ‘unacceptable,’ says Oregon governor

Feb 18, 2022, 8:27 AM | Updated: Feb 21, 2022, 6:35 am
Gas export tax...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Among the many measures laid out by Washington Democrats in a proposed $16 billion transportation package is a tax on refined fuel exported to states like Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. But as the package has moved along in the Legislature, the states that would be subject to the levy are speaking out against it.

Multi-billion dollar transportation package would strike down repeal of fuel export tax

Washington state makes up 3.3% of the United States’ capacity for refined petroleum exports, according to 2019 data. In cities like Seattle, drivers often struggle with gas prices above $4 a gallon, in part due to a state-level $0.49 a gallon gas tax. That said, fuel exported outside of the state is exempt by law from that levy. The proposed transportation package from Democrats would repeal that exemption, passing the costs on to neighboring states that depend on fuel refined along the Puget Sound.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over 90% of Oregon’s fuel comes from Washington, making it the state that would likely be hit the hardest by a potential export tax. That had Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaking out against the proposal on Thursday following a conversation with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

“I spoke with (Gov. Jay Inslee) today and made very clear that Washington taking unilateral action to increase gas prices for Oregon families and businesses is unacceptable,” she said on Twitter. “Washington leaders should know their actions will impact Oregonians’ lives. Continued collaboration between our states will always lead to better outcomes for both Washington and Oregon.”

Others within Oregon’s state leadership expressed the possibility of taking action against Washington should the fuel tax be implemented.

Washington Democrats unveil expansive $16 billion transportation package

“I suppose, if enacted, Oregon will look at ways to retaliate,” Oregon state Sen. Lee Beyer — who chairs the state’s transportation committee — told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

Legislative staff in Washington estimate that the tax would add roughly $2 billion to the state’s Motor Vehicle Fund over a 16-year period. And as proponents like state Sen. Rebecca Saldana have noted, nearly half the oil refined in the state “goes out without any benefit to our local transportation system.”

Others have pointed out that Washington has been assuming the environmental risks and impacts brought on by refining oil without reaping any of the rewards.

“In terms of fairness, I think it is only appropriate since we produce the fuels for their use that they support our climate activities and our overall activities in the package,” Washington state Rep. Jake Fey said in a statement to OPB.

MyNorthwest reporter Dalton Day contributed to this story.

Local News

ballard business owners...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Woman hit and killed by SPD car identified; officer was responding to call nearby

According to police, the officer was heading north on Dexter Avenue North on Monday night, responding to a ‘priority one’ call.
13 hours ago
weather parks...
L.B. Gilbert

Mount Rainer, national parks receive ‘record-setting’ $1.1 million

Washington’s National Park Fund announced that they were distributing $1.1 million to use at projects to improve the parks.
13 hours ago
safe place...
Bill Kaczaraba

Tacoma, Seattle businesses embrace ‘Safe Place Initiative’

It started with Seattle Police. Then Tacoma joined in. Now, local businesses and schools are embracing the Safe Place Initiative.
13 hours ago
robbery...
L.B. Gilbert

Man had gun held to head during robbery at Silverdale ATM 

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man after he allegedly robbed someone at gunpoint in Silverdale Wednesday.
13 hours ago
FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Se...
Associated Press

Boeing to be arraigned in court over two Max jet crashes

Boeing representatives and relatives of some of the passengers killed in two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets will meet face-to-face in a Texas courtroom Thursday, where the aerospace giant will be arraigned on a criminal charge that it thought it had settled two years ago.
13 hours ago
tickets...
L.B. Gilbert

Courts resume late fees for Seattle parking, traffic tickets

Starting Jan. 30, late fees will resume on all tickets past due, after being suspended in March 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic. 
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Washington’s proposed gas export tax is ‘unacceptable,’ says Oregon governor