For decades, blue collar workers have been complaining about the high cost of fuels in California.  And for decades the legislature has tiptoed around the issue of exposing the truth behind why the price of fuels in the state is so much higher than what the rest of the country regularly pays at the pump.

The current rhetoric the legislature is putting out is they can’t figure out why the cost of gas at the pump in California is noticeably higher than the rest of the country. Last month the Attorney General’s office called for an investigation of this phenomenon, and last week Governor Gavin Newsom joined the rhetoric.  Yeah, like the AG and Governor are not in bed with the idea that the Oil and Gas industry is the go-to scape goat, the established bad guy, the Snidely Whiplash who can and will be blamed for any and everything that goes wrong today and tomorrow anywhere in the great State of California.

They are now fueling the idea, pun intended, that the oil companies are filling their pockets with the extra money California consumers experience at the pump.  The local media are unknowing co-conspirators in this ruse.

Both the AG and Governor appear to have short memories. As early as last year at an April 23, 2018 hearing before the State Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. I testified in support of Senate Bill 1074 (John Moorlach) called “Disclosure of government-imposed costs,” which would have required gas stations to post near each gas and diesel pump a list of cost factors, to include federal, state and local taxes, as well as costs associated with the state’s environmental rules and regulations.  

The Democrat controlled committee was adamant they did not want the public to see all the costs included in the posted pump price, and killed the Bill  that would make gas pricing transparent, from future consideration and would have eliminated the need for an investigation in the first place. Today, we’re hearing the same concerns that Senate Bill 1074 (Moorlach) would have remedied.  And the dance continues.

The Supermajority in the legislature are purposely hiding taxes and fees from California residents, keeping them blissfully ignorant of the many taxes and regulatory costs that drive up prices, to the point that Californians continue to pay almost $1.00 more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country.  Those taxes and fees include:

a) The federal fuel tax per gallon;

b) The state fuel tax per gallon;

c) The state sales tax per gallon;

d) Refinery reformatting costs per gallon;

e) Cap and trade program compliance costs per gallon;

f) Low-carbon fuel standard program compliance costs per gallon; and

g) Renewable fuels standard program compliance costs per gallon.

That’s a lot of taxes and costs. The difference between those “fixed” governmental costs from taxes and environmental regulations would obviously explain the total costs the manufacturers of those fuels charge the vendors, who add their markup, and the actual price the consumer experiences at the pump.

Cap and trade went into effect in 2013, following the earlier Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Now the Governor can’t seem to figure out why the prices jumped considerably. The people who make the laws and spin the tales decide the angle of the truth they want you to hear.  Besides, they don’t want to have to explain what cap and trade is for the hundredth time after President Trump has literally designated it a bad word.

As the Cap & Trade and Low Carbon Fuel Standard Programs kick into higher gear in the coming years, more costs onto fuels are projected by 2030 which may ADD another dollar or two to the per gallon fuel cost consumers will pay at the pump.

Practically every other product we buy, clothes, computers, cars, furniture, office supplies, books, etc. come with the price listed on the tag, with the taxes then clearly added to the receipt.

Shouldn’t that courtesy be extended to the motoring public?  Of course, it should. SB 1074 would have required that information be included in the price of the fuel we buy and be posted at the pump but the Democratic supermajority isn’t having any of that, now or in the future.

The high fuel taxes impact not just drivers, but almost everything in our economy, such as the food carried to grocery stores, materials to housing construction and clothing to children’s stores. Even and other online retailers will charge more for shipping as their costs rise.

Especially hurt by the high cost of fuel are the working poor, who often must commute an hour or more inland because coastal housing is so expensive. This demographic is the key constituency of the Democratic Party yet they are being left out in the cold air of disinformation.

It’s no wonder California continues to suffer the highest percentage of people in poverty, homeless and welfare crisis that’s so acute it shocks the world.

Senator John Moorlach’s bill in 2018 would have paved the way for motorists to find out what’s really going on but the Democratic supermajority’s dance card is full and fuel price transparency for the motoring public is not on it.  This current spate of lawmakers will jostle around the idea of the need for full disclosure again and again when the issue arises, but any real action will be avoided until Democrats co-sponsor a reintroduced bill from Senator John Moorlach to force transparency of pricing at the pump bill that will give the blue collar workers the details of why Californians pay so much for fuel.