Washington’s gas-price surge not enough to deter summer travelers

Comment from Global Ocean Health: “The Seattle Times reports that drivers aren’t hanging up their car keys to avoid high fuel prices this summer. No surprise. This report further confirms one of our main findings from research on policies that seek to reduce carbon pollution: Price signalling alone is not the best tool in the kit. Effective carbon policies go beyond merely putting a price on the carbon released by burning fuels. They use the money from a carbon price to help people afford to “become the solution.” That means investing to boost fuel efficiency, produce more clean energy, and reduce both the pollution and the costs that come from burning more fuel than we need.”

Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times, July 6th, 2018

Over the past year, a gallon of regular unleaded has increased by 63 cents, a bigger jump than in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Washington gas prices have soared over the past year to among the highest in the country, but that’s not expected to change anyone’s summer driving plans, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The state’s average gas price per gallon is the third-highest in the nation and is 20 percent higher than the national average, according to AAA data. Over the past year, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded has increased by 63 cents, a bigger jump than in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

The state’s average gas price per gallon is the third-highest in the nation and is 20 percent higher than the national average, according to AAA data. Over the past year, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded has increased by 63 cents, a bigger jump than in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Jennifer Cook, spokeswoman for AAA of Washington, said her organization projects about 47 million Americans traveled during the Fourth of July holiday stretch, a 5 percent increase over last year.

Surveys from AAA clubs around the country indicate that Seattle will be among the top three domestic destinations, behind Orlando, Fla., and Anaheim, Calif., Cook said. That’s partly because the city is a starting point for cruises to Alaska.

Still, this year’s rising costs at the pump are nowhere near the record set on July 6, 2008, when regular unleaded reached $4.35 a gallon.

While higher prices in Hawaii and Alaska are attributed mostly to the cost of transporting fuel, in Washington, Oregon and California, prices are boosted by stricter standards for fuel cleanliness, Cook said.

Washington drivers pay 67.8 cents per gallon in taxes, 49.4 cents a gallon to the state and 18.4 cents to the federal government. That’s the second highest gas tax in the nation after Pennsylvania, where drivers pay nearly 77 cents per gallon.

Eastern Washington has less expensive gas than the western part of the state because the region uses cheaper, dirtier crude oil from Montana rather than the cleaner kind imported from Alaska and Canada, she said.

Of those travelers — about one million of whom originated in Washington — 85 percent traveled by car, she said. And the travel boom is forecast to last all summer, likely setting new records, she said.

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Northeast Carbon Market Keeps Delivering Major Benefits to All

New report details sustained economic and environmental gains enjoyed by states participating in regional carbon cap-and-trade market.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, continues to succeed at reducing pollution, creating jobs, and boosting economies for all participating states. It’s no wonder that Virginia will soon add its name to the RGGI states, New Jersey is in the process of rejoining, and that states are exploring ways to reap the benefits of carbon markets to drive investments in transit and cleaner mobility options.

A new report released last month by the Analysis Group found that, over the past three years, RGGI helped grow participating states’ economies by $1.4 billion, while adding 14,500 job-years (equivalent to full-time jobs for one year of employment). Nine states participate in RGGI, including the six New England states plus New York, Delaware, and Maryland. Key findings from the report are detailed in the infographic below.

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RGGI is a cap and trade program; it requires energy producers that emit carbon dioxide to buy pollution allowances through an auction process. This means that they must internalize some of the costs of carbon pollution related to fossil fuels. It also incentivizes investment in cleaner fuel sources.

Altogether, since the program was implemented in 2009, the nine RGGI states have collected $2.8 billion in auction proceeds. States typically use RGGI auction revenues to pay for energy efficiency and clean energy programs – a “cap-and-invest” approach that further cuts emissions, reduces energy costs, and creates jobs. When states invest RGGI proceeds in energy efficiency, they get the biggest “bang for the buck” as they add more businesses and jobs in activities such as energy audits and installing energy-efficiency equipment. RGGI also helped reduce by $1.37 billion the amount of money sent out of the region to import fossil fuels.

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Global Ocean Health May 11th fundraiser – join us for oysters, salmon, crab and more aboard the F/V North American

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Join us aboard the F/V North American (as seen on “Deadliest Catch”) for an oyster bar, salmon, crab, beer, wine, and other delicious local foods.  Check out the suite of emissions-reducing, fuel-saving technologies onboard and support National Fisheries Conservation Center’s Global Ocean Health program.

Learn how we’ve enabled local fishermen, seafood businesses, tribes, and coastal communities to modify a proposed carbon pollution law in Washington so it protects abundant waters and gives fishermen a fair deal. Initiative 1631, which will be on statewide ballots in November, would provide carbon revenues to reduce emissions and cope with unavoidable consequences of carbon pollution. It includes funding to enable owners of vessels and vehicles to invest in efficiency-improving technology on vessels and funding to help adapt to and remediate the effects of ocean acidification. Also included are funds to protect healthy forests, watersheds, and resource-dependent communities from climate impacts.

National Fisheries Conservation Center and its Global Ocean Health program have been part of the waterfront for decades: spreading the word and exploring how to tackle ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, warming/species shift, and other changing conditions. This is your opportunity to show that work matters to you.

Hear from Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish and Pete Knutson of Loki Fish Co about the work of Global Ocean Health in ensuring that the ocean continues to produce the fish and shellfish we love, for our grandchildren and beyond. Participate in our silent auction and help the organization grow. We hope to see you there!

Buy your tickets at: https://globaloceanhealth.brownpapertickets.com

Opportunities for sponsorship or donation of food or products are available – reply for more information. If you can’t attend but would like to make a tax-deductible donation, visit: http://globaloceanhealth.org/donate/.

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors:

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Thank you for your support — looking forward to seeing you May 11th!

Brad Warren, Director

Julia Sanders, Deputy Director

Special thanks to all our generous in-kind donors: Taylor Shellfish, Grand Central Bakery, Proletariat Wine, 192 Brewing Company, Baywater Shellfish Company, Olympia Oyster Company, Morning Glory Chai, The Central Co-op, Jensen’s Smokehouse, Anne Kroeker and Richard Leeds, Palisade, Chinook’s, Key City Fish, Vicki Sutherland-Horton, Chandler’s Crabhouse, Holly Hughes, Candere Cruising, Alki Kayak Tours, Seattle Theater Group, Jeffrey Kahrs, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Heronswood Gardens, Marche Restaurant, Cynthia Blair, The Old Alcohol Plant, Sleeping Lady Resort, Bellflower Chocolate, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Clipper Vacations, Northwest Outdoor Center, Beacon Charters & RV Park, OceanLink, Claire Oravec, Caffe Appassionato, Vicki and Marc Horton and of course Erling Skaar/GenTech.

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