Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As I shared in my previous newsletter, I suspected the carbon-pricing auction held by the Washington State Department of Ecology on August 30 (as part of the Democrats’ “cap-and-tax” plan) would result in another increase in the price of fuel.
The results of that auction were made public yesterday and confirm my suspicions.
The cumulative hike the price of gasoline due to selling “carbon allowances” is now expected to equal 51 cents per gallon, up from the 45 cents per gallon resulting from the May auction.
While a 6-cent increase might not seem like much, it’s now expected to increase the cumulative hit from cap-and-tax on Washington families by nearly $2 billion from when legislators left town after the 2023 session. (Budget writers then assumed $2.5 billion from this policy; now it looks like over $4.25 billion of your money will be brought in through 2023-2025.)
Not only will this increased cost affect your wallet at the pump, the cap-and-tax policy will also raise prices for any goods being shipped, and home heating fuel, further adding to the high inflation eating away at your family budget.
While the Democrats and Governor. Inslee continue to scapegoat the oil companies for doing what every business does — increase end-product prices to cover increased production costs — the truth is, it’s the state is the one “price gouging” consumers. While they try to hide that fact, even Washington’s Utilities and Trade Commission admits that the increase in the cost of fuel is a result of “cap-and-tax.”
The worst thing about this is that some are hit harder than others. Democrats pay lip service to the hardships faced by those with lower incomes, but their actions say otherwise. Five cents here, six cents there. It all adds up. Those struggling to put food on the table can’t take it.
I am working on legislation to address this assault on Washington’s hard-working families and plan to make it public soon. I hope the Democrats will realize there is room to provide relief.
“At this point it is unlikely that the Governor or legislators will take steps to reduce the burden of increasing energy costs on families and business. Denial and distraction are likely to be their preferred strategy. And energy costs will keep rising.”
Director, Center for the Environment
Washington Policy Center
Sen. John Braun
Protecting our children from online pornography
The success of online pornography sites, and the ease with which anyone of any age can access those sites, pose a strong threat to our children and society in general. They are suspected of showing video of sex trafficking of minors. They encourage the degradation and exploitation of women. And they foster a distorted attitude toward sex among our youth.
Parents are right to be concerned.
I am working on a bill that would force sites that contain material which is harmful to minors to require age verification.
Several other states have enacted bills to address this issue and I am reviewing those and working to determine what would work best in Washington. Several options exist, including requiring digital identification cards or third-party verification. We are evaluating these and other solutions to craft a bill that will successfully protect kids from harmful online material.
When my bill is ready, I will share the draft with you. In the meantime, if you have ideas about how we can lockdown access to online obscenity, you can email me.
On Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s own website, he says “As the state’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules.” That accurately describes the online pornography industry. Will the AG do his job and join my efforts to protect our children?
Are we headed for another mask mandate?
I’ve heard from many of you who are concerned that news of a recent uptick in COVID cases in some areas of the country will result in another mandate requiring Washingtonians to wear face masks.
Neither a COVID spike nor new vaccine or mask mandates are imminent in Washington, despite fears spreading on social media. To be clear, I would oppose any effort to enact such mandates.
- EDITORIAL: Help all of WA aggressively disrupt the scourge of fentanyl (The Seattle Times)
- Washington sees 77% increase in traffic deaths as young drivers head back to school (KOMO TV)
- Idaho and Washington see highest housing price increases in the U.S. (KREM TV)
- Despite improving inflation, more Americans are living paycheck to paycheck (KING TV)
- Veterans getting together to improve their physical and mental health (Skagit Valley Herald)