Ross: Maybe there should be a leadfoot tax

Jun 26, 2023, 9:43 AM | Updated: 12:51 pm

Seattle gas tax...

Gas prices in Seattle can vary greatly from station to station. (AP)


It happened to me too – after getting used to $3.49 gas during my two weeks on the east coast, I find myself back in Seattle having to gas up on Capitol Hill at a station that doesn’t honor my points: $5.69 a gallon.

I understand the effects of Washington’s carbon tax, but as high as that is, it doesn’t explain a difference of $2.20 cents a gallon between there and here.

And yet, I’m driving home on 405 Sunday evening, and the prevailing speed is still above 65 miles an hour in most spots.  Sometimes it was 75.  And a few times I had to do 80 to keep up.   If people were really angry about the price of gas, you’d think they’d slow down a little.  We all know air resistance increases as the square of speed – you can’t repeal THAT law – but no one cares!

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We hate the carbon tax, but we’re happy to pay the leadfoot tax.

I understand if you drive for a living you have no choice, but I’m pretty sure most of us on 405 Sunday were not on a tight schedule – traffic was light, so we drove fast.

What keeps gas prices high is a combination of speed, the taxes, the longer distances we have to drive, and OPEC, which can cut its output when demand drops to keep prices up.  And of all those factors the one thing we can control any time we want to – is speed.

You can go ahead and blame the carbon tax, but the tax helps prove the point: even at $5 a gallon, the right foot is still in charge, and we’re still hooked.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Maybe there should be a leadfoot tax