Gas prices in California are likely to increase with the passage Monday of the extension Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature cap-and-trade program. The only question is by how much.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
Transportation fuel suppliers have been covered by cap-and-trade since 2015, with the cost of allowances generally passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office [LAO] estimated last year that the change had raised the retail price of gas by about 11 cents a gallon and the price of diesel by about 13 cents a gallon.
Supporters and opponents of Assembly Bill 398 are far apart in their claims about what extending the program means for motorists’ wallets.
However, estimates for the 10-year extension provided by the Legislative Analyst’s Office in a letter addressed to the ranking Republican member of the Transportation Committee, Vince Fong (R-Kern County), tell a very different story.
The LAO estimates that under one scenario, the cost increase for gasoline could be as high as $0.63 to $0.73 per gallon.
Eight Republican legislators — one termed-out state senator, and seven assemblymen including Rocky Chavez, Marc Steinorth and Republican Minority Leader Chad Mayes — voted for what their political opponents can easily characterize as a $0.63 gas tax.
The vote could not have happened at a worse time for the California GOP. Stinging from the Democrats’s recovery of a supermajority in November, the GOP is staking its comeback on exploiting outrage over Brown’s recent 12-cent gas tax to fund road repairs, dumping millions into a recall election against Democrat State Senator Josh Newman (D-Chino Hills).
Assemblyman Travis Allen has filed a referendum to repeal the gas tax as the centerpiece of his gubernatorial bid.
Breitbart News asked him what effect he thought Monday’s cap-and-trade vote would have on his efforts:
“It’s no surprise that the media wouldn’t cover the impact of Governor Brown’s cap-and-trade expansion on gas prices until after the vote,” Allen said. “That doesn’t surprise me at all, but what did surprise me was that some Republicans were out there leading the charge to give Brown the two-thirds he needed — not understanding that whatever they think they got in return either wasn’t worth it, or won’t ever materialize.”
“Jerry Brown’s legacy,” he said, “will be leaving the state with the highest taxes of every kind, and now the highest gas prices in the country — which will hurt the working poor the most.”