February 18, 2022 – WASHINGTON — Washington’s drivers pay some of the highest gas prices in the country, but relief may be on the way.
Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-WA) on Friday joined several other lawmakers to introduce the Gas Prices Relief Act. If passed, the bill would lower gas costs by temporarily suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax until next year.
“People in the 8th district and across the country are feeling the pinch at the gas pump and in the grocery store,” Schrier said in a written statement. “What’s infuriating is that this is happening at the same time that gas and oil companies are making record profits. A gas tax holiday is one way to get relief to American families right away.”
Gas prices have been on the rise in Washington and across the country. According to an analysis from AAA, the average cost for a gallon of gas in Washington was $3.96 as of Feb. 14. That’s up slightly from the week before, and significantly higher than the national average of $3.49 per gallon.
Western Washington, in particular, has been hit hard by high gas costs. Gasoline prices averaged $4.14 in the Seattle-Tacoma-Belluvue area in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s $1.41 more per gallon than last January, and 18.2 percent more than the $3.50 national average for January 2022.
According to Schrier’s office, gas prices have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain bottleneck, which hopefully will be minimized by the time the tax would return in 2023.