AirTalk for August 19, 2014

California business groups warn of impending 'hidden gas tax'

Oil Prices Hit Highest Price In Almost A Year

David McNew/Getty Images

Experts say the average Californian will see $4 per month added to their cost of living due to the gas price hike.

Californians are seeing and hearing a blitz of advertisements warning of a looming "hidden gas tax." The price increase is expected to take effect in the new year because California's cap-and-trade program will expand to include fuel, meaning oil refiners will have to buy permits for the greenhouse gas pollution tied to gasoline and diesel sales.

Organizations opposed to that plan are throwing their support behind Assembly Bill 69 (Perea), which would delay the cap-and-trade extension to fuels. Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno) has said a delay would give time to consider expanding cap-and-trade "in a way that doesn't impact the working class," according to the Sacramento Bee.

However, UC Berkeley energy experts say the average Californian will see $4 per month added to their cost of living due to the gas price hike. Other says you would need a crystal ball to know how energy spending will change for Californians.

Why is there a wide variation in the economic impact analysis? Who supports delaying the coming extension on cap-and-trade, and why?

Guests:

Jay McKeeman, Vice President of Government Relations and Communications, California Independent Oil Marketers Association

Gary Gero, President of Climate Action Reserve, a carbon offset registry based in Los Angeles


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