The Wall Street Journal:
Last week 16 Democratic Assembly Members—about 30% of their caucus—signed a letter urging California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols to delay or redesign the state’s cap-and-trade program. “We are concerned about the impact of the AB 32 cap-and-trade program on our constituents,” they write, adding that “many of the areas we represent are still struggling with double digit unemployment.”
Large manufacturers and power plants must now either purchase permits or cut their emissions to comply with a state-mandated cap, which over time will be ratcheted down. Starting next year, transportation fuel suppliers will also have to pony up for permits.
Assembly Democrats fear that applying cap and trade to fuels “will cause an immediate jump in prices at the pump.” While estimates vary, “an increase of about fifteen cents per gallon is likely and a much larger jump is possible.” Senate President Darrell Steinberg has warned that gas prices could shoot up by 40 cents per gallon..
California’s gas prices, which typically run 40 to 50 cents above the national average, are already the highest in the continental U.S. due to the state’s fuel blending requirements and taxes—which also top the other 49 states. The Boston Consulting Group predicted in 2012 that cap and trade and the state’s carbon fuel standard would drive up gas prices between $0.49 and $1.83 per gallon by 2020. These green regulations are intended to raise the cost of gas to encourage people to drive less or buy electric cars.
During the Prop 23 debate, the “retired activist brigade” tried to warn voters that the price of fuel will rise under AB-32. But, we were shouted down by the left in debates and misleading newspaper articles and op-eds for the low information voters. Now reality has arrived, and the liberal Democrats that supported the defeat of Prop 23 are worried.
Our local lefties and our political leaders that are depending on tourism dollars to fill the government coffers should also be worried, as they are going to have less money to spend for services and pay raises. As fuel prices rise, while average household income is declining, fewer families are going to have the disposable income for a Nevada County weekend. There will be fewer families taking weekend ski trips to Tahoe. Fewer tourist at Christmas Fairs and the County Fair. Fewer tax dollars to collect and spend.
Rising fuel prices will make the ERC’s economic development task much harder. Selling Nevada County as manufacturing hub will be much more difficult as transportation costs will be well above the costs in surrounding states. Why move to Nevada County, when energy cost are lower in neighboring states and Texas?
Twenty-nine percent of Nevada County worker commute to the valley to work. Many may chose to move to the valley to reduce commuting costs, resulting in a declining population that has been flat over the last five years. Fewer people to buy products and services.
Conservatives in Nevada County warned voters, but voters listened to the liberal claims of rising health risks from ozone as California warmed, though they could not show the scientific connection between warming and ozone. It was all about reducing the number of cars and truck on the road. The cult of anthropogenic warming won over good science and now we are all living with the consequences, including the liberals and their poor constituents. God I love it, when reality bites liberals for being stupid.