During a recent trip to Bend, Ore., I noticed gas prices in Central Oregon were substantially less than here in the Vancouver/Portland metro area at about $4.30 a gallon. This is very interesting considering Oregon’s gas tax is only about 11 cents less than Washington and all fuel in Oregon comes from Washington-based refineries. I also noticed the price of gas in Central Washington is less than what we pay in Vancouver (even though most fuel destined for the Tri-Cities is barged up the Columbia from Portland). This leads me to believe that our oil companies are charging a fuel premium for areas they believe have the voting power to force a change in Washington’s carbon tax law. Something for all of us to think about when we assign blame for high gas prices.