By TIMOTHY SCHUMANN
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – After over thirteen straight weeks of price declines, Washington fuel prices increased for the second week in a row.
On Monday, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded was sitting at $3.99 statewide, up from $3.92 the week prior, according to AAA data. This 7-cent increase per gallon continues the sharp reversal in Washington state’s over three-month-long trend of fuel prices.
While fuel prices have been falling significantly when looking at the national average, citizens of the Evergreen State are still firmly on the expensive end of the market nationwide. Washington’s pump prices moved up the list nationally into third place being beat on only by California and Hawaii.
Compared with the national average of $3.30 per gallon, Washington’s $3.99 does place it 69 cents per gallon higher than that average. This is a full $1.10 off the nation’s least expensive fuel costs of $2.89 per gallon currently paid by Mississippi state residents.
In Washington, intra-state variance remains high, spanning a range of $1.03 per gallon across counties. The outliers this week, San Juan and Asotin counties, represent the most and least expensive gas prices statewide at $4.55 and $3.52 per gallon, respectively.
This price variance still largely follows the Cascade Range, with residents to the west paying a higher premium at the pump than residents to the east.
On top of the nation-topping prices, as of Jan. 1st of this year, Washingtonians also have a new cap-and-trade tax to contend with. Originally projected to cost an additional 46 cents per gallon, the first carbon auction concluded last month, and that price projection may have been on the high side.
According to previous reporting by The Center Square, Washington Policy Center environmental director Todd Myers thinks that prices may only rise 28 cents per gallon. This is based on 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide selling for $35 per metric ton.
Brett Davis contributed to this report.