FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT

CAP-AND-TRADE AND FUEL PRICES AND YOU

applyCome January 1, 2015 expect fuel prices in California to rise by $0.15/ gallon, and therefore the price of everything else you consume will increase as well.

Why, you ask? Because that’s when California’s cap-and-trade regulations take effect. Fuel refiners will have to buy credits (i.e., pay a tax) to off-set their emissions. The total “tax” to be paid by the oil companies is expected to be $3.6B/year. They will, of course, increase their prices to the distributors, who will increase their prices to retailers, who will increase their prices to consumers.

Why doesn’t California source its fuel from other states, you ask? Because California has a special formula of fuel that is only required in this state. It is not cost effective for producers in other states to reconfigure their lines to refine our boutique brand of gas and diesel and then ship into the state.

How is the money collected via the cap-and-trade tax going to be spent, you ask? The state expects to collect $9B/year in taxes and have earmarked 20% of that amount to subsidize a high speed rail project.