Proponents of the cap and trade extension state there is no increase in gas taxes. Here is the catch, do not use the phrase “gas taxes,” and instead use “increases in the price paid at the pump.” The courts have ruled that cap and trade is not a gas tax, and it will also help distinguish cap and trade from the gas tax in SB 1. What we have here is NEWSPEAK from the sci-fi novel 1984 by George Orwell! In essence, cap-and-trade allows the 350 industries regulated by it to continue to pollute for a cost. They buy credits which cost money at quarterly auctions, or trade with other industries who don’t use all of their credits. Refineries need to buy more of them and those costs get passed onto the consumers.
The costs will increase as the emissions cap gets less and less, and credits thus get more expensive to purchase. Is that in the bill? No. But its how cap and trade works and that is how it will increase the price of fuel. Again what we have here is the slight of hand! The Legislative Analyst’s Office stated in a March 29, 2017 letter to Assemblyman Vince Fong “that cap and trade could raise gas prices by an estimated 63 cents per gallon in 2021, increasing to 73 cents per gallon in 2031.” CCTA believes the cap and trade extension combined with the gas tax and car tax hikes in SB 1 is a crushing blow to California residents and businesses negatively impacting their quality of life.