Washington’s 1-year-old cap-and-invest program will be one of the dominant issues of the 2024 Legislature, from adjustments to how carbon auction money is being spent to efforts to study its impact on fuel costs and the oil industry.

Lawmakers will consider fine-tuning the new system in several ways when the legislative session begins on Jan. 8. Maybe make it more palatable to farmers. Maybe provide some money to the public to offset higher fuel costs. Maybe make Washington’s system compatible with California’s and Quebec’s to try to shrink the impact on gas prices.

Plus Gov. Jay Inslee and Democratic legislative leaders want to copy a fledgling California government agency to study and regulate the oil industry within Washington. We’ve been whipsawed too long by the oil and gas industry and we need a bill to find out what’s really going on,” Inslee said. The Inslee administration contends that the five biggest oil corporations made $200 billion in profits in 2022. Conservative organization Let’s Go Washington has submitted a petition to the Washington Secretary of State’s Office to eliminate the cap-and-invest system, blaming it for high gasoline prices. Read more