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California’s carbon trading inflates gas prices

Green Gone Wrong
Green Gone Wrong
Paul Taylor

California Governor Jerry Brown's state budget proposals include almost $500 million in spending of the theoretical revenues from California's go-it-alone, climate carbon cap-and-trade climate regulations. Climate carbon regulations were enacted as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Commonly referred to as AB 32, the law established the goal of reducing California greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Opponents have referred to AB 32 as a costly, job-killing carbon tax. Brown’s gamble to offset one-half billion dollars in future state deficit spending raises questions about the reality of sufficient climate tax revenues; and more importantly, the increased long term costs of energy and fuel to state consumers.

With gasoline prices inflated by recent global demands, California drivers are feeling the compounded fuel price increases from higher gasoline prices due to California’s cap-and-trade carbon emissions program. The program limits GHG (greenhouse gases) pollution emissions from large industries, fuel refineries and private electric utilities unless they “trade” pollution allowances above the allowed emissions “cap.”

California legislators have protested that gasoline prices will rise by $0.15 per gallon next year from cap-and-trade mandates, and will increase each year thereafter. Gas prices are expected to rise dramatically as the cap-and-trade program expands to include large fuel suppliers next year. A Boston Consulting Group study in 2012 predicts gasoline prices would go up between $0.49 to $1.83 per gallon by 2020 due to the California cap-and-trade program. The number of longest-distance U.S. commuters are from San Bernardino County to Los Angeles County at an average of 68 daily miles. The predicted higher fuel costs would add from $799 to $2,986 per year to gasoline costs for an average commuter. (CalWatchdog.com, July 2014)