Gov. Jay Inslee, legislative leaders and representatives of labor and health care today announced the time has come for Washington state to tackle Big Oil’s record-breaking, excessive profits.
Following “monster profits” in 2022, several oil and gas giants have posted even higher Q1 profits for 2023. Their profits are rolling in at the same time communities everywhere grapple with record heat waves, deadly flooding, drought, wildfires and pollution-related medical conditions that average people and state governments are expected to pay for on top of sky-high fuel prices. Climate-fueled disasters cost the United States $165 billion in 2022.
And yet, spokespeople for these companies are doubling down in defense of high gas prices, with Chevron saying “it’s not our job to go bankrupt” trying to comply with policies aimed at protecting communities from the brunt of fossil fuel companies’ climate impacts. This same company made $6.6 billion in profits the first quarter of this year – more than twice the profit of Amazon.
“We should not yield an inch to these rapacious oil and gas companies that are now using [the Climate Commitment Act] as an excuse,” Inslee said, as he defended the urgency of capping carbon pollution and reinvesting in solutions like heat pumps and electric buses that benefit communities and children. “Instead, we should hold them accountable for their outrageous pricing. We’re not against profits but we’re against price gouging."