MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Washington gas prices hit 2024 high, up 28% over national average

Apr 3, 2024, 12:12 PM

Photo: People pump gas at a Shell gas station on August 03, 2023....

People pump gas at a Shell gas station on August 03, 2023. AAA reports Washington gas prices are going up. (Photo: Brandon Bell, Getty Images)

(Photo: Brandon Bell, Getty Images)

Washington’s gas prices are, on average, up nearly 6% compared to gas prices a year ago. The jump in price is more than 25 cents per gallon, according to AAA.

Gas prices in the state have gone up 1.7% in just a week and more than 10% over the past month, leading a gallon of gas to cost $4.55 on average for regular, $4.79 for mid-grade, $5.01 for premium and $4.69 for diesel.

More on Wash. gas prices: Former WSDOT worker sues over gas price whistleblowing claims

The average national price for a gallon of unleaded regular gas has climbed nearly 14%, amounting to an increase of more than 40 cents per gallon, according to AAA data. Washington remains one of the highest states for gas prices. On average, it is 28% higher to purchase gas in this state compared to the rest of the country.

Neighboring states are feeling a similar, if not more extreme, impact on escalating gas prices. Utah’s average price of a gallon of gas has increased by 60 cents, while prices over that same period have jumped 55 cents in Alaska and 43 cents in Oregon.

“Prices are doing what they always do: Rise in the spring,” Andrew Gross, a spokesperson at AAA, told ABC News.

“Spring break travel is here,” Patrick de Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told ABC News. “This is the time of year Americans start using more gasoline.”

de Haan also stated, alongside an annual increase in road travel this time of year, refineries use a more expensive, less-polluting blend of fuel in the summer to account for changing weather conditions and mitigate environmental impacts. Gas prices have risen nearly 50 cents between Jan. 1 and late March over the past six years, according to de Haan, excluding 2020.

Washington representatives have considered different options to relieve the costs for residents, including a $200 rebate on their utility bills to make up for fuel cost increases related to Washington’s new cap-and-invest program.

The cap-and-invest program is one of the centerpieces of the Climate Commitment Act, passed by the state legislature in 2021. Modeled after California’s cap-and-trade system, it requires the state’s biggest polluters to purchase emissions “allowances” based on how much carbon they emit. These allowances can be obtained through quarterly auctions hosted by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Many have since criticized the cap-and-invest program. Conservative activist groups Future 42 and Americans for Prosperity-Washington State even set gas prices to the national average of $3.82 for two hours at a Kent gas station last September to protest the state’s “cap-and-invest” carbon emissions program.

More on Future 42 and Americans for Prosperity-Washington State setting gas prices: Kent gas station rolled back the price of gas to $3.82 for 2 hours

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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Washington gas prices hit 2024 high, up 28% over national average