California’s cap-and-trade program will cause the cost of gasoline to skyrocket after New Year’s Day, reports CBS Los Angeles. The price hikes may come as a shock to drivers, as Americans in the rest of the country will likely continue to enjoy falling fuel prices in the near future. Estimates of the price increase vary wildly:
- The California Air Resources Board (CARB) asserts prices will increase 10 cents a gallon;
- The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) believes prices will rise from 13 to 20 cents per gallon immediately, rising to 50 cents by 2020;
- The Western States Petroleum Association says prices will ascend 76 cents a gallon;
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Consulting Group said in 2012 that prices would rise between $0.49 and $1.83 per gallon by 2020.
AB 32, passed in 2006 and signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was intended to reduce “global warming” by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. As Assemblyman Tim Donnelly noted, CARB slipped a tax into the program that will force refiners and importers to buy carbon credits.
Not only will drivers be hurt at the pump, but the ripple effect of the price increase for transportation will also inflate the prices of fresh produce and household goods. The bill will be implemented January 1, 2015.
Critics of the cap-and-trade program note that the money drawn from the gas price hike will be targeted for high-speed rail and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Mike Morell, (R-Rancho Cucamonga), has co-authored Senate Bill 5, which would delay the gas fee until 2020. The GOP representative has been joined by some fellow representatives across the aisle, such as Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno), who wrote AB 69, which would delay the gas tax for three years.
Donnelly tried to take the matter further, attempting to abolish CARB once and for all with his own bill, AB 1332.