There is an adage at says, “be careful what one wishes for, because it might come to pass.”
These words of wisdom were unfortunately not heeded by those with political power in the state of California. As a result of the state’s leftist policies, California is currently suffering under extreme gas rates. It seems as if the leftist policies that make up so much of the California political party have now come home to roost and the citizens are the ones suffering.
When Californians complain about “pain at the pump” they aren’t exaggerating. In fact, according to numbers from the American Automobile Associate, California currently has the highest gas prices in the nation. Californians are paying $4.080 per gallon for regular, $4.237 for mid-grade and $4.340 for premium, with diesel fuel averaging $4.101 per gallon. To compare, no other state in the nation even gets close to the $4.00 mark, even for premium. Hawaii, which requires gas to be shipped via tanker, currently has prices of $3.624, $3.784, $3.940 and $4.217. This means California is still 4 cents more expensive than a state who has to ship in their gas.
According to Fox Business News, California Governor Gavin Newson has formally requested an investigation to launch. He is asking the California Energy commission to look into the cause of the price hike. Newson said there was analysis that suggested there could be an “unaccounted for price differential” caused by “inappropriate industry practices.” There was a “mystery surcharge” discovered by analysis performed by former chair of the California Commission’s Petroleum Market Advisory Committee and University professor of California Berkley Severin Borenstien. He said the price cannot be explained by higher taxes or production costs.
“In the past few years, the price gap with other states has jumped much more than costs and taxes can explain,” Severin said.
Here are a few reasons why gas is thought to be so expensive in the Golden State:
- California is on a fuel-island, meaning it has no pipelines that allow it to be supplied crude soil or petroleum supplies.
- There are regulations that demand special blends of gasoline.
- California’s “differentiated” fuel standards cause a risk of “supply outages.”
- Californians currently pay 30 cents extra per gallon of gas when compared to other states.
- California is 14 days of travel via tanker from the Gulf Coast.
True enough, these are valid theories, but others believe the root cause for gas prices is more political.
For example, Gavin Newsom, as lieutenant governor, supported a bill that increased the state’s gas taxes in 2017. When he ran for governor in 2018, he then opposed the repeal the increase. This seems a bit silly to think that the same person who voted to increase taxes on gas is now asking others to investigate why they are so high.
The California governor and some others don’t feel it’s the result of political decisions, such as tax increases that have caused the current problem. However, one can’t deny that California has some extreme tax rates. They are taxed 41.7 cents per gallon. This rate will increase to 47.3 cents in July. In addition to this, Californians are also burdened with a 2.25% gasoline sales tax and are strapped with a low-carbon fuel standard and a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions. This means altogether, the states has to pay $.24 cents of taxes per gallon above the national average.
All the taxes and restrictions mentioned above are changes that those on the left have wanted in order to reduce CO2 emissions. As someone once said, “elections have consequences.” This has proven to be true in California. Though the voters elected politicians and supported greater restrictions on emissions and increased taxes on gas, they now aren’t very happy they have to pay more at the pump. Sure, there might be some other causes that should be investigated, but at least a generous portion of problem seems to be a result of various political choices.
~ Liberty Planet