Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Gas Tax, as it is being called in many circles, creates a new panel of unelected bureaucrats with subpoena power, to investigate oil and gas companies, impose penalties, new costs and regulations, which would inevitably lead to gas shortages, rationing and price spikes. SBX1-2 creates a new government agency to arbitrarily decide how much profit oil and gas businesses are allowed to make, disrupting California’s energy market and threatening the reliability of the state’s fuel supply, according to Assembly Republicans the Globe recently reported.
The governor’s scheme is to “create a new independent watchdog within the California Energy Commission charged with monitoring California’s petroleum market on a daily basis to ensure market participants play by the rules.”
“Democrats have spent years driving up the cost of gas with a steady stream of taxes, fees and regulations,” Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher said. “This bill is no different. When we see gas lines and soaring prices, Democrats will have only themselves to blame, and I’m confident that Californians will hold them accountable. If Democrats were serious about lowering gas prices, they would back our efforts to give drivers a gas tax holiday.”
However, Gov. Newsom is crowing about nationwide support for his gas tax legislation.
Why does the governor think his gas tax scheme is so popular?
“New polling finds large majorities of American voters supporting California’s new law to fight gas price gouging, with 70% of voters supporting limits on oil company profits at the pump, which includes 63% support amongst Republicans,” the governor stated in an email Tuesday.
Here’s Newsom’s reinforcement: A Morning Consult report yesterday claims voters across the country want a similar law in their states, finding that “at least 3 in 5 voters would back similar laws in their own states” and “7 in 10 voters support limits on oil and gas company profits at the pump.”
What exactly are “excess profits?” There really isn’t such a thing – except in Socialism/Marxism/Communism.
The counterpart article about the poll was written by Julia Martinez, “a data reporter at Morning Consult covering energy and climate change.” Could there be a bias in this poll? (Hint, yes).
Here is the opening sentence of her article:
“Following a year of record profits for oil and gas companies around the world and ahead of what could be another summer of high gasoline prices, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) last month signed SBX1-2 into law, which aims to stop price gouging at the pump.”
Her “price-gouging at the pump” link tracks to an Axios article which covered passage of Gov. Newsom’s bill, linked to another Axios article about Sen. Chuck Schumer demanding legislation to cap oil prices, finally linked to another Axios article acknowledging that the United States halted a significant amount of oil production, but Axios blames the COVID pandemic for the oil rig shutdowns, rather than President Joe Biden’s executive order halting the Keystone Pipeline. Here is what the Axios article says:
U.S. oil and gas production reached a record high in 2019, then plummeted during the pandemic. It was already rising again before Russia invaded Ukraine.
It’s a colossal feat to re-start all that halted production, but the number of active oil rigs has grown steadily since bottoming out in 2020. Still, the rig count is far shy of the 2019 peak.
Some Republicans and Democrats in Washington suggest Venezuela’s oil could replace Russia’s, according to the N.Y. Times.
President Biden’s advisers are discussing a possible visit to Saudi Arabia this spring to help repair relations and convince the Kingdom to pump more oil, Axios’ Hans Nichols reported.
The Morning Consult poll, and counterpart article already had the desired outcome – they just needed some data to back it.
Here are some of the hard-hitting questions asked of poll participants:
- Generally speaking, do you support or oppose there being limits to the amount of profit oil and gas companies can make per gallon of gasoline, meaning oil and gas companies could no longer price gouge consumers at the pump? (emphasis ours)
- How much have you seen, read or heard about California Bill SBX1-2, which would give the California Energy Commission the power to set a maximum gross gasoline refining profit margin, establish a penalty for any California-based refineries that surpass that margin, and require oil companies to disclose information to state regulators about their pricing?
- And do you support or oppose the following aspects of California Bill SBX1-2? Giving the California Energy Commission the power to fine oil companies if they surpass gasoline refining profit margins?
- And do you support or oppose the following aspects of California Bill SBX1-2? Requiring oil companies to report financial information about profit margins to the California Energy Commission?
- As you may know, oil and gas companies are a part of the international supply chain and the U.S. economy, providing thousands of jobs domestically. Oil and gas is also a source of energy that many industries in the U.S. depend on. Based on what you know now, do you support or oppose California Bill SBX1-2?
- Would you support or oppose the state you live in passing the following laws? A law that gives your state the power to limit gasoline refining profit margins.
- Would you support or oppose the state you live in passing the following laws? A law that gives your state the power to fine oil companies if they surpass gasoline refining profit margins.
- Would you support or oppose the state you live in passing the following laws? A law that gives your state the power to require oil companies to report financial information about profit margins.
- And would you support or oppose the federal government passing the following laws? A law that gives the federal government the power to limit gasoline refining profit margins.
- And would you support or oppose the federal government passing the following laws? A law that gives the federal government the power to fine oil companies if they surpass gasoline refining profit margins.
- And would you support or oppose the federal government passing the following laws? A law that gives the federal government the power to require oil companies to report financial information about profit margins.
- how concerned are you about the current price of gasoline?
- how concerned are you about the future price of gasoline?
A teenager would have answered these questions the same way the adult participants did. This poll, along with most political polls today, appear to impact or effect voters rather than reflect voters’ intentions – it’s a form of peer-pressuring with an everybody else believes this attitude.
The Globe believes if the registered voters polled knew Gov. Newsom’s new gas tax creates a new panel of unelected bureaucrats with subpoena power, to investigate oil and gas companies, impose penalties, new costs and regulations, which would inevitably lead to gas shortages, rationing and price spikes, the answers would have been quite different.
Of the 1,959 registered voters polled, 1,522 were white, a majority were female, and the majority were college-educated baby boomers (1946-1964).
The survey was conducted March 31-April 2, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,959 registered voters.
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