gas pump
Arizona Senate Passes Cheaper Gas Bill

February 28, 2024

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona legislative Republicans are working to lower gas prices for Arizonans at the pump.

Last week, the Arizona Senate approved SB 1064, sponsored by Senator Justine Wadsack, which “adds gasoline fuel reformulation options for all gasoline sold or offered for sale for use in motor vehicles in a county with a population of 1,200,000 or more persons and any portion of a county contained in outlined areas,” according to the purpose provided by the chamber.

The bipartisan vote in the Senate was 17-11 (with two members not voting) in favor of the legislation.

“From gasoline to groceries, electricity, housing, and every other basic necessity, Arizonans are paying thousands of dollars more per year to maintain the same quality of life they had just before Joe Biden took office. While we can’t prevent his implementation of the reckless policies that are hurting hardworking families, senior citizens, and young adults, we can help Arizonans keep more of their hard-earned dollars through commonsense solutions like SB 1064. I’m hopeful this legislation will be signed into law because it is the right move to make to improve the lives of our citizens.”

According to the press release from the Arizona Senate, the state is “currently required to provide drivers in Maricopa County [with] a specific fuel blend for cooler season months and a different fuel blend specific for warmer season months.” SB 1064, if signed into law, would “establish a free market solution by allowing as many fuel blends as possible.” Republicans have “identified eight comparable blends.”

Earlier this month, the bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Energy and Water with a 4-1 tally. Two members on the panel did not vote.

Arizona Republicans have long been working on solutions to the state’s high costs for energy– especially since spring 2023. It was then that they learned the Governor’s Office was convinced by the EPA not to submit a waiver for an “alternative fuel type to provide an adequate supply for drivers and preventing a hike in gas prices,” despite oil companies warning state officials of significant refinery shutdowns and past Arizona Governors applying for and receiving that opportunity. According to Senate Republicans, “this catastrophe reduced the supply of the CBG (fuel blend)” produced for the state during the spring and summer.

Last year, Senator Jake Hoffman unleashed a blistering rebuke of Hobbs’ reported failure “to do the right thing by requesting this waiver to allow prices at the pump to drop.” Hoffman’s statement followed the aforementioned accounts of a letter that had been sent to Hobbs in March by independent petroleum refiner HF Sinclair, warning the state’s chief executive “of a critical supply shortage in Arizona due to an unexpected equipment failure stopping the production of CBG required by the Biden Administration in Maricopa County, as well as parts of Pinal and Yavapai Counties.”

At the time, Hoffman said, “Katie Hobbs’ incompetence as Arizona’s Governor continues to take center stage, and hardworking Arizonans are paying the price for it. The average price for a gallon of gas right now in Maricopa County is a full $1 higher than the national average. This is extra money that could help with groceries, medications and other necessities many of our taxpayers are having a difficult time affording because of the Biden Administration’s reckless policies leading to historic inflation.”

On the Arizona Legislature’s Request to Speak system, a representative from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce signed in to oppose SB 1064, while representatives from the Modified Motorcycle Association of Arizona and Americans for Prosperity Arizona endorsed the proposal. Representatives from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association registered their neutrality on the bill.

SB 1064 now heads to the Arizona House of Representatives for consideration.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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