The cost of gasoline in Washington reached $4.948 a gallon on Thursday. Thus, it overtook California ($4.859 a gallon) as the state where it is most expensive to refuel a vehicle.
Washington last topped this ranking in 2005 according to GasBuddy's specialists in statements reported by CNN; While California is more than used to occupying the first place: it was the state with the most expensive fuel 95% of the time in recent years, according to the same source.
The overtaking occurred on Tuesday, according to GasBuddy expert Patrick De Haan. The analyst explained that the cost increase in Washington is "mostly due to the implementation of a carbon tax and some problems with refineries."
Washington state has overtaken California as the state with the highest #gasprices in the nation, thanks primarily to its implementation of a carbon tax and helped by some refinery issues.
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) June 20, 2023
De Haan had warned earlier in the month of the rise in the price of going to the gas station, linking it to the entry into force of the state tax that charges companies for the greenhouse gases they emit. In a graph he shared on Twitter, you can see how the price increased in the first five months of the year. In 2021 and 2022, prices per gallon were similar to Oregon, while in 2023 Washington took off and began to approach California.
How Washington's carbon tax is hitting #gasprices: prior to implementation, OR and WA were within a couple cents per gallon of each other. Now? Washington is 41 cents higher than Oregon and just 15 cents below California. pic.twitter.com/zs1YGTtLm2
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) June 6, 2023
Experts explained that the state tax increased the cost of oil companies' operations, so they increased the price of the product, according to statements made by the Oil Price Information Service to The Seattle Times. According to the same source, the cost could have increased by as much as 50 cents a gallon due to this cause.
How much does it cost in other states?
The state with the cheapest fuel on Thursday was Mississippi, at $3,010 a gallon. A difference of almost $2 a gallon with respect to Washington. It is followed by Louisiana ($3,125), Arkansas ($3,140) and Tennessee ($3,151).
The national average for the same date was $3.584 dollars per gallon. This cost represents a slight increase over the previous month, when the gallon was valued at $3,540.