On Friday, governors in two different states signed bills into law to suspend each of their respective statewide gas taxes, in order to offset the financial burden of rising gas prices on consumers.
The Daily Wire reports that Governors Larry Hogan (R-Md.) and Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) signed such legislation after the bills had already passed through the state legislatures, with Maryland’s gas tax being suspended for the next 30 days, while Georgia’s will be suspended through the end of May. Other states currently considering similar action include California, Michigan, and New Hampshire.
“This bipartisan action will provide some relief from the pain at the pump,” Hogan announced at a press conference prior to the signing of the bill, “and it is possible because of the prudent fiscal steps we have taken, which have resulted in a record budget surplus.”
“This is, of course, not a cure-all, and market instability will continue to lead to fluctuations in prices,” Hogan continued, “but we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to provide relief for Marylanders.” The bill in Maryland had passed through both houses of the state legislature with unanimous support.
Kemp similarly announced his signing of the legislation in a video statement posted to Twitter, pointing out that “the average price of a gallon of gas has increased from $2.69 to $4.28 since March of 2021, a 59% increase.”
“Researchers are now estimating that the average American household could spend an average of $2,000 more per year because of increased fuel cost and sky-high inflation,” Kemp continued. “While some of the more recent price hikes are due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Georgians also know that Washington, D.C., policies and politics were driving inflation to record highs well before Putin’s despicable actions.”
Rising gas prices have become the latest domestic crisis, with costs of energy skyrocketing due to Joe Biden’s decisions early on in his term to shut down all domestic production of oil and natural gas; these actions included canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline and halting all oil and gas leases on federal lands. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, leading to a war involving two energy-rich nations, has only further destabilized the market and caused prices to rise even higher. The national average price for a gallon of gas, now roughly $4.25, has surpassed the previous high of $4.11 in 2008.