SEATTLE – U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell says Washington state drivers will spend an estimated $672 million more for gas this summer than they did last summer.
The Democrat’s office conducted an analysis showing that each driver in the state can expect to pay $150 more between Memorial Day and Labor Day. She says gas prices are 93 cents higher on average since Memorial Day last year.
Cantwell says excessive speculation in oil markets is largely to blame. She’s calling on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to rein in that speculation, and she compares what’s happening now to the way Enron’s market manipulation affected energy prices in the Northwest.
She notes that when people take fewer trips because of high gas prices, they buy fewer meals at restaurants and rent fewer hotel rooms, and that hurts the economy.