Friday marked 100 days of diddling by California’s supermajority party to provide relief at the pump for the state’s drivers from the record high gas prices. Rather than actually authorizing a gas tax holiday at the pump, Legislative Democrats want it to appear they care and are doing something. So they are going to “investigate” the state’s highest-in-the-nation gas prices.
As of Sunday June 19, 2022, AAA reports the Average Gas Price in California is $6.401, while the national average is $4.983. The highest gas price in California is in Mono County at $7.212.
With California’s excessive petroleum industry regulations, highest-in-the-nation gas taxes, and special “summer blend,” expect to see that average of $6.401 per gallon of gas get much higher this summer – some predict over $10.00 per gallon. These are just averages – some counties in California already have over $10.00 a gallon gas.
Friday, Senate Republicans issued a press statement acknowledging that they have been calling for gas tax relief for months, and said keeping the pressure on is paying off.
“Running for cover, Assembly Democrats are now calling for an investigation as to why gas prices are so high. Been there, done that. Governor Newsom made the same move in 2019, and nothing has changed, except for the price of gas.”
“In a political move, Democrats are joining Republicans in calling for a pause in the scheduled July 1 gas tax increase. These are the same Democrats who failed earlier this year to suspend this increase when presented with the opportunity. Senate Republicans proposed this idea last year, again in January, May, and this week. Welcome aboard.”
“Democrats are feeling the heat. Californians are rightfully mad that the Democrat supermajority has done nothing but talk about alleviating the pain at the pump for 100 days. Republicans began calling for a pause in the gas tax increase almost a year ago and have not let up,” Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) said. “While I am glad to see some of my colleagues come around, it is a sad commentary on the impact of a one-party rule. This could have done at any point this year; they just chose not to.”
Notably, Senate Republicans last July 2021 called for a ‘Gas Tax Holiday’ to include a full suspension on state gas tax collection for the 2021-2022, to be backfilled by the State’s general fund… to no avail.
Democrats issued a press release Sunday announcing a press conference Monday at noon, to launch their investigation into rising gas prices in California:
“Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), along with Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), will hold a press conference announcing legislative action to investigate rising gas prices in California.”
The Globe has a suggestion for these Democrats: Watch the news. Pay close attention to the White House Executive Orders and directives. It’s been 18-months since President Joe Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline along with 70,000 oil and gas jobs under the guise of “climate change.”
“New drilling leases on federal lands were brought to a halt by Biden’s illegal executive order, and Biden unilaterally revoked the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline to transport oil from the Canadian Tar Sands to Gulf Refineries,” the Federalist reported.
As for California’s highest-in-the-nation gas, nearly one year ago, the Globe reported on the escalating gas prices, when the national average was $3.131 per gallon, and California’s average was $4.31 for regular grade gas – even higher than Hawaii’s gas prices. California’s medium unleaded gas was selling for $4.50 per gallon on average. Gas in Mono County was $5.13 per gallon.
“David Blackmon, a Senior Contributor to Forbes explains that California is a state that is rich in underground oil resources, but over the past two decades, the state government of California has pursued a policy agenda designed to inhibit drilling and production within its borders as part of an overall program to try to ratchet down emissions via command-and-control regulations. In more recent years, the state government has implemented emissions regulations that far exceed current federal regulation and implemented mandates requiring a rapid phasing-out of gas-powered cars and replacing them with electric vehicles (EVs).”
Here is a breakdown of the California taxes and fees on California gas:
Federal Excise Tax: 18 cents per gallon
State Excise Tax: 51 cents per gallon (this will be increased to 53.9 July 1)
Sales Tax (estimated): 10 cents per gallon
Low Carbon Gas Programs: 22 cents per gallon
Greenhouse Gas Programs: 15 cents per gallon
Underground Tank Storage: 2 cents per gallon
The ridiculous proposals coming from the governor and lawmakers for supposed relief at the pump don’t directly provide relief at the pump – which is the only place drivers, and only drivers, should see the tax break. Sending checks to everyone is another Democrat redistribution of wealth, and in fact increases taxes on the very people who need the tax breaks.
In March, the Globe reported that several states including Maryland and Georgia, passed temporary gas tax suspensions in response to rising gas prices nationwide.
Also in March, California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced AB 1638 to suspend the 51 cent gas tax for six months, and instead fund the lost tax amount slated for California roads and infrastructure of $6 billion through part of the California state tax surplus. However, Assembly Democrats hijacked Kiley’s proposal and instead diverted their focus on giving Californian taxpayers a $400 rebate – which showed just how unserious Democrats are about providing gas tax relief to suffering Californians. It’s all politics.
Democrats are fiddling while Rome burns. They may not care, but hey, they look busy.
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