GOP lawmaker pushes for $100 in gas relief for registered drivers

Sep 18, 2023, 5:58 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2023, 10:16 am

carbon emission auction...

(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

State Rep. April Connors (R-Kennewick) wants to introduce a bill that would give registered vehicle owners $100 per person, or $200 per family, to help with Washington’s rising gas prices.

Connors’ measure, the Carbon Auction Relief (CAR) payment program, would send excess revenue collected under Washington’s new carbon auctions directly to registered drivers within the state. The proposal for the payment program launched Monday.

More on state gas prices: Officials spar over impact of climate act as drivers pay up

“My email has been filled up this legislative session with people complaining about the price of the pump,” Connors told Jason Rantz on KTTH 770 AM. “I started working with Representative Mary Jai, who’s the head ranking member of the Energy and Environment Committee for the State House, and with our policy staff, we went through ideas of what we could do to effectively give people back money in the state of Washington money that is rightfully theirs because of this cap and trade program.”

After receiving an initial July payment, Connors’ plan is for registered vehicle owners to receive an annual check when they renew their vehicle tabs as long — as there is excess funding from the carbon auction.

“Because, as you know, the estimate for this program was wildly inaccurate,” Connors said.

More on Washington’s carbon auctions: State’s second event nets $500M

A special auction of pollution allowances on Aug. 9 likely generated $62.5 million for Washington revenue, according to nonprofit news outlet The Washington State Standard.

“People are foregoing vacations. They’re struggling at the grocery store,” Connors said. “We have to figure out a way to give relief back to the people because, ultimately, this is their money and we need to find proposals to return it to them.”

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State Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) has also stated the need to provide relief for Washington drivers, citing a proposal that would similarly use excess funds from the auctions above what was estimated.

“With what Mullet has done with his proposal, it is one person that, at least on the Democrat side, has also indicated that they would like to give some of the money back to folks,” Connors said.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). He is the author of the book “What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities.” Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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GOP lawmaker pushes for $100 in gas relief for registered drivers