Pennies at the pump add up


Last updated 8/15/2023 at 5:29pm

It’s been a tough week around the farm with equipment failures that have delayed harvest a few days. I’ll get back on track.

But while repairs are underway, I can’t help but think about others who won’t recover so easily from hits to their budgets – setting them back further and further every time they fill up at the gas station or get a paycheck.

Many of our friends on the West Side of the state disregard rural folks in communities like ours.

We see this every session that the Legislature is controlled by Democrats. Most of them have such little knowledge and awareness of our way of life that they don’t care how their agenda hurts our communities.

It doesn’t seem to bother them that those of us who don’t live in big cities are unfairly affected by taxes that supposedly pay for big-government programs.

They push ideas, such as breaching the dams along the Snake River – an action that will devastate entire towns and force people to move away from places they have called home for generations. They nickel-and-dime us with taxes until we can’t even afford to feed our families.

And they blame everyone but themselves for the damage they do.

To them, Washington’s rural areas are a dumping ground for garbage ideas. Like this box spring abandoned on my farm, these ideas create blight and we’re left to clean up the mess.

Moreover, Gov. Jay Inslee himself is turning a blind eye to the inconvenient truth: His policy agenda is fleecing Washingtonians.

People continue to call out his false claims that price gouging by oil companies is at fault for the highest gas prices in the nation. As I’ve said before, there’s no question the governor misled the people last year when he said his cap-and-gouge carbon plan would only cost people “pennies” at the pump.

He doesn’t like to take responsibility for consequences of his bad ideas.

Pennies add up.

In fact, those pennies have added up to 50 cents per gallon. Rural residents are hit hardest by this pain at the pump because we have to drive more than people who live in bigger cities – even to access basic services like medical care.

Those of us in the agriculture community feel the pain acutely every time we have to fuel up a combine or transport our crops.

The percentage of people actively farming or ranching continues to decline and policies that make fuel more expensive only push more families out of the business. The implications of that threaten the world food supply.

Instead of admitting the entire point of his carbon cap scheme is to manipulate you into driving less, Inslee continues to look for scapegoats. Passing the buck is cowardly.

And so is ignoring the real-world impact of his agenda to force people into mass transit or electric vehicles, which are either unavailable or impractical for those living in our district.

Legislators are looking at ways to fight this program. I encourage you to share your opinion with the governor’s office by calling 360-902-4111.

— Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, represents the 9th Legislative District, including eastern Adams and Franklin, Whitman, Lincoln and southern Spokane counties. Email him at [email protected].


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