Legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyễn (D-White Center) to bring transparency and accountability to gas prices and the oil industry was heard this morning in the Washington State Senate. The bill, SB 6052, would bring transparency to how oil companies set prices and make it possible to protect consumers. The hearing can be viewed on TVW here.

The law would require the Utilities and Transportation Commission to gather reporting of detailed pricing, profit margin, and transaction data held by fuel suppliers, refinery operators, and others in the transportation fuels supply chain. The UTC would then analyze and report to the governor, Legislature, and public on that data, including retail fuel prices and the profits of the industry as a whole and major firms within it.

“We’ve got to have accountability and transparency in our gas prices,” said Nguyễn. “This legislation will bring transparency to what’s happening so we can monitor for abuses and respond to bad actors. The corporations who polluted our air and water need to bear the cost of the environmental and physical damage they caused. If Big Oil is taking advantage of Washingtonians, they’ll be in big trouble.”

Washington has had some of the highest gas prices in the nation for decades, without clear transparency as to why. The Attorney General’s Office has long had the authority to sue companies over price gouging, but without the passage of this legislation, it lacks the data necessary to investigate and prove cases of corporate gouging of consumers by oil companies. Similar gas price transparency legislation was passed in California in 2023.