President Obama wants to invest more than $20 billion on roads, bridges, highways and ports as a way to stimulate economic growth. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new mileage standards and air quality rules that could raise the price of gas as much as 9 cents per gallon.
It's as if one part of the federal government was trying to rescue a floundering economy while another part tosses it a concrete block, AWB President Don Brunell writes in his weekly column.
"With our teetering economy, it's vital that Congress and the Obama administration carefully weigh any benefit of new regulations against their impact," Brunell writes.
State lawmakers play a role, as well.
Washington legislators want to increase the state's gas tax 10 cents per gallon, a move that would bring the total of state and federal taxes to 65.9 cents -- third highest in the nation.
There is no question that Washington needs additional money to repair roads, bridges and highways, Brunell writes. But how the gas tax is structured -- and how the money is spent -- will determine whether it harms or helps our economy.