Gas prices are rising again and some are predicting $7 gas by this summer. We can’t let that happen. The Governor has called a Special Joint Legislative Session to deal with the problem, but the proposals on the table would make matters worse.
According to the California Energy Commission, costs at the pump are the result of several factors, including the cost of crude oil, California’s isolated fuel market, and switching back and forth from winter to summer blends. Other factors include costly regulations and the overall cost of doing business in California. Add to this our astronomical gasoline taxes and the scheduled 8% tax increase this July, and you have a recipe for $7 gas this summer. The solution? Call a Special Session to place taxes on the oil companies and increase their cost of doing business in California. A tax on energy production will inevitably lead to decreased production and higher consumer costs.
Rules to facilitate Special Sessions must be adopted to create common procedures and guidelines between both houses. These rules involve suspension of the 30-day-wait period on bills, and a four-day notice before committee hearings, among others. Last week my colleagues and I forced a vote on whether or not to adjourn and end this folly. Unfortunately, the vote failed. Even so, I’m happy to report that bipartisan skepticism about imposing these cost increases on consumers seems to be growing.
Californians don’t need another gas tax, on top of the excessive taxes we already pay. We need real solutions, such as:
- Delaying transition from winter to summer blend
- Extending the current suspension of the diesel tax
- Delaying the annual gas tax increase scheduled for July 1st
- Temporarily suspending California’s highest-in-the-nation gasoline tax
Californians need relief now. Not a scheme that drives up prices and creates more pain at the pump.