For a brief few months at the end of last year, I thoroughly enjoyed paying around $ 2.50 per gallon of gas.
Currently, local prices in the Inland Empire of So Cal are hovering around $ 3.80. In Los Angeles, it is over $ 4. We have the highest priced gas in the nation by more than $ 1/gal.
And it isn’t just about our “summer blend” or that our Watermelon Greens have made sure our refining capacity has never expanded, it is that the excuse of Global Warming has allowed Democrats and Jerry Brown to punish people for the crime of owning their own transportation.
To get a feel for the government-induced gasoline price spikes on the horizon, a recent remark from California Air Resources Board (CARB) chair Mary Nichols is revealing. In a 2013 magazine article, referring to carbon permit pricing, she wrote:
"Although $ 70 is likely to motivate large changes in electricity generation, the effect will be far less for transportation, where $ 70 per ton translates into $ 0.70 per gallon of gasoline. That is not enough to motivate oil companies to switch to alternative fuels or to induce consumers to significantly reduce their oil consumption, but it is still important to establish the principle of placing a price on carbon." [Emphasis ours.]
That's right, even a 70¢ gal. punishment for motorists is not adequate according to the state's air czar. This, after polls have shown that a majority of motorists would not pay 1¢ more for gasoline in order to reduce "global warming". Just 18% of motorists were willing to pay 50¢ more to reduce global warming. […]
Is California's price at least 60¢ higher due to its global warming law? Herein we track the state's still-growing price penalty, the stratified wholesale price climbs behind it, and reveal how two government permit programs — the low carbon fuel standard and the FUC fee — to enact the Golden State's global warming law are clobbering refiners, marketers, retailers, and consumers.
California's pump prices recently shot up more than double what the nation's did, caused in part by its new structured-in costs designed to damage gasoline demand. But it would take a retail price above $ 13.00 gal. to do what the governor wants, we calculate. The latest California gasoline price surge has refiners reeling and industry watchdog outfits calling for their heads, with retailers caught in the crossfire of angry consumers.
Sadly, the joke is on consumer advocates accusing Big Oil: Consumers, not refiners, are the main target of warming regs.
AB32 hasn’t just created a cudgel for authoritarian Democrats to
nudge shove the hoi polloi they hold in contempt around — defining for them how they should eat, what housing they should live in, what vacations they should take and, of course, be punished each time they use their own cars — but created a huge slush fund and allowed an explosion in government employees.
The collection of funds from AB32 is already huge. So huge that new avenues for assignment of the funds are cropping up like weeds. Last year's state budget earmarked 35% or $ 130-million of "global warming" funds for affordable housing. Governor Brown's budget proposal would add $ 400-million for housing projects. Nearly all of the nearly $ 200-million spent on the state's "bullet train" project has come from the cap-&-trade and FUC fees.
One state politician put it this way, that matching the "warming" funds to the state's needs is the art of good government. Each year, some 40% of cap-&-trade income is unassigned, with lines forming to request money; Brown wants some of it for anti-drought programs, such as for rebates to consumers buying dishwashers with lower water use.
The state Chamber of Commerce is suing on the basis that the program is an illegal tax. While cap-&-trade applies to myriad carbon emitters who are forced to buy permits, gasoline consumers ALONE will shell out $ 1.5-billion in 2015 to satisfy the FUC fee.
In addition to slashed gasoline demand and artificially exploding gasoline prices, the apparatus for study, administration, and enforcement of the California fuel price-rationing scheme will have to be fed. The building of applicable state agencies has been increasing monumentally.
As the page 8 graph shows, the budgets of both the California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board have exploded since 1998. Combined, they swelled from $ 239-million in 1998 to $ 1.2-billion last year. This is an expansion of more than 400%. If these two groups were funded solely by gasoline taxes, it would require 8¢ gal. to satisfy their ravenous budgets.
These two outfits are bent on pursuing the goal of putting California's petroleum industry — producers, refiners, jobbers, and retailers — out of business. This is to serve the objective of protecting the public. Officials believe that motorists, consumers of cement products, and much else, need to have the cost of supplying hydrocarbons or goods made by the use of them rise so spectacularly that demand for them is stricken.
The belief that AB32 and other extreme reduction of natural resource programs is to guide industry into doing the right thing (charging more and more for products), fondly held by anti-petroleum groups and even by naïve petroleum industry participants, fails to appreciate that the mission is to punish consumers into not consuming.
Thanks to AB32 and preceding diktats, CARB's 2015 operating budget is $ 736-million.
As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation. Don’t believe for one second that Democrats around the country aren’t looking with lust at what is happening in California. No less than Obama stood before a branch of our military and said the greatest threat to our country was …
Democrats would love to FUC the whole country.