Fuel prices going up as greenhouse regulations hit gas, diesel fuels

wpid-wp-1419921286316.jpegBy Josh Richman San Jose Mercury News

12/29/14 07:18 PM

After months of seeing gas prices sink ever lower, Californians will ring in 2015 by paying more at the pump as a result of the state’s landmark greenhouse-gas emissions law.

But how much more we’ll pay, and whether it’s worth it, remains bitterly debated among oil companies, some state lawmakers and environmentalists.

Starting Thursday, gasoline and diesel producers will be subject to the state’s cap-and-trade system, forcing them either to supply lower-carbon fuels — which are more expensive to produce — or to buy pollution permits for the greenhouse gases created when the conventional fuel they supply is burned. In the short term, at least, that will mean higher prices at the pump, starting almost immediately.

“My understanding from the economists that we’ve talked to is that it will be very quick, sometime in January — if not on the first, then shortly thereafter,” said Dave Clegern, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board.

Opposition groups backed by the oil industry have claimed prices will rise 16 to 76 cents per gallon, although that’s admittedly based on an underlying price of about $4 per gallon — far higher than recent prices. A UC-Berkeley energy and economics expert says it’ll be more like nine or ten cents per gallon, which supporters say isn’t so high a price to pay for the environmental good it will do.

Some Democrats want to delay the program; most Republicans want to stop it entirely. But at present, there is little prospect of either happening, given the Brown administration’s strong support of the program, which is enshrined in an eight-year-old law.

“A lot of Californians still don’t know this is coming,” said state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, who has a bill to exempt transportation fuels from the cap-and-trade requirements. “It’s going to hurt the poorest people in the state … Gasoline is not a luxury, it’s essential for folks.”

But the Air Resources Board says the state’s plan to ease climate change would be gutted without the program, and delaying it would only delay the incentive for oil companies to produce cleaner fuels.

Full story: Fuel prices going up as green-house regs hit gas, diesel sales

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121 thoughts on “Fuel prices going up as greenhouse regulations hit gas, diesel fuels

  1. CC is man made but not due to gases.
    Updated from time to time, the following list includes only the established known science and facts. No point is my opinion or assumption as GHG / GHE due to gases is imaginary. So if anybody could find any point wrong, I will be very much thankful. Hereby, I also request to state meaningful science instead of meaningless comments.
    (Dev – Retired science teacher educator; earned Ph.D. from Nottingham University (1986), NG7 2RD England, UK, for developing a training program for science teacher –”Radicalization of science education in Nepal.” – development of an innovation, a study in education technology.)
    A. GHG / GHE idea is ridiculous fake science. Worst, disgusting, embarrasing fraud in the history of science.
    1. Green house. It requires solid transparent materials to form a green house.
    2. GASES are freely moving molecules.
    3. Gases can’t form green house.
    4. They can’t be fixed to make walls / roof of a structure like ‘green house’.
    5. All matter / gases in Nature can hold Heat, so they can absorb heat like any gas e.g. CO2.
    6. Convection method of heat transmission. Heat is always transmitted from higher to lower temperature.
    7. O2 is 700 times more than CO2.
    8. N2 is 2700 times more than CO2.
    9. CO2 is not a pollutant. We carry the gas in our blood since birth and live throughout
    the life with the gas.
    10. Plants use the gas to prepare food. Then, HOW CAN THE GAS BE A POLLUTANT?
    11. If GW were due to ‘green house effect” (GHE), the upper layer of the Troposphere (our climatic atmosphere) should be warmer than the flat land areas because warm air goes up. So the top of the MT. Everest should be hot zone. The earth would have never been colder than the beginning 4 billion years ago.
    12. Our atmosphere is not closed like a green house but open to space.
    13. Our climatic atmosphere (Troposphere) should be always warm as the Sun always shines on the half of the Earth.
    14. It wouldn’t be cold during night (after the sun set and before the sun rise).
    15. Minimum temperature is recorded about half an hour earlier than the sun rise.
    16. We know it is always colder during night than during sunny days.
    17. REFLECTION: gases don’t reflect. They are transparent. Light pass through too small particles.
    18. Materials become opaque when they reflect light.
    19. Every molecule radiates absorbed heat when the surrounding is colder. It absorbs heat when the surrounding is hotter. All objects at a place try to equalize temperature.
    20. Foggy, smoggy, and cloudy days are colder than bright sunny days.
    21. Gases are not layered in the Troposphere; it is a homogenous mixture of gases. If it were layered the heaviest gas, CO2 would be at the bottom not on top. Then animals wouldn’t survive. We need O2 to be alive.
    22. Gases of atmosphere should be still (no breeze, no wind) to be layered. Breezes, winds, hurricane, tornadoes, convection current or any motion thoroughly mixes all the gases.
    23. Molecules of fluids move upwards when heated and downwards when cooled – the convection current.
    24. CO2 is transparent, colorless, odorless, and heaviest gas of the atmosphere. It does not make shadow as clouds do.
    25. If something does not allow going out means does not allow getting in as well. GHE applies only with the solid transparent materials like glasses and plastics not for the fluids (gases and liquids).
    26. Methane is negligible, only traces.
    27. Insulation traps heat partly. Gases alone can’t trap heat. Gases can’t work as an insulator in the open space. Our atmosphere is not insulating the earth. it should be air tight for effective insulation. The clothes we put on, the four walls and roofs etc. work as insulator, lesser the passage for air to pass through in and out the more effective is the insulation.
    # Physical properties of fluids (gases and liquids) and atmosphere don’t support them on GHG idea at all scientifically. GHG / GHE idea is fake.
    B.1 Causes of CC
    (Just because you (NASA and IPCC) did not know or could not explain the cause of CC you are creating fake, imaginary, false, spurious and so on science to mislead the world.
    GW is not the problem but water.
    Here is the explanation for the cause of the CC. I challenge all the scientific institutions / organizations especially NASA and IPCC that support GHG / GHE idea to prove my scientific analysis is wrong. CC due to gases is impossible instead they are helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission.)
    So they don’t have proofs. My Scientific analysis is 100% proof
    So gases are not responsible for global warming but cooling the earth.
    Only purpose of the Quito protocol (only a propaganda or misinformation, jargon, cant, hoax and so on.) is for monopolizing the industry by the developed rich countries – saying indirectly to the poorer countries to stop industrialization; and, instead they would support the developing world by donations.
    B2. Mistaken Reason for CC –
    The main reason for global warming is due to the mistake done by human being for explaining the rain cycle wrong way that it occurs by the evaporation of the sea water. If it were so, now-a-days we should have rains more often than in the old days – global warming and expansion of the sea surface, both are favorable for evaporation needed for rain cycle. Sea surface temperature (average 15C) is not hot enough to lift water vapour to form cloud needed for the rain cycle. If that is possible we will have rains all the time, (even during winter we have that temperature in Nepal on the average). water vapur evaporated from the sea surface must come over land to get lifted as the land surface gets heated by the sun and air moves upward as air current.
    We are making more and more land areas drier and drier by urbanization – covering land by concretes, black top roads, deforestation, and expanding deserts. So evaporation from the land areas is decreasing, as a result cooling of the land areas is decreasing significantly. Land areas are hotter than sea surface temperature.
    B3. We can control climate or present climate change is reversible
    – just by determining how much land surface area of the earth to keep moist. More the land surface moist, the more rain cycle and cooler earth surface.
    I shall be grateful to you if you could go through my blog for details and share with your friends.
    C. Ozone depletion is not possible
    Ozone as such can’t exist as a layer. It is extremely unstable and heavier than O2. It breaks into oxygen atoms as soon as it forms (if not kept pressurized in a closed container).It is formed when oxygen molecules breaks into atoms with heat of high temperature (UV). Stratosphere is tremendously cold zone and extremely low pressure. Ozone formed breaks down into oxygen atoms as soon as it forms and releases heat. Even at sea level at NTP ozone is unstable. So ozone layer exists only in theory. Intermittently forming of ozone will continue until the oxygen is in the atmosphere and we receive UV from the sun. So ozone depletion is not possible. Ozone formation is a step to return heat back to space.
    It is not ozone that blocks heat but O2 and in the process O3 is formed to release the heat absorbed by O2
    D. Don’t blame CFC (too scarce and too heavy to reach the stratosphere) for thinning stratosphere. In reality, Millions of jet flights everyday are consuming too much of oxygen of the layer.
    Copy my list, go to NASA / IPCC and tell them about my challenge. Or, at least talk to your elementary sc. teacher to fnd out true sc. I will reward you for your efforts.
    Present CC is reversible and we can control climate

    • dev,
      You have interesting ideas but you could present them more clearly.
      For example, in#20, you write …
      Foggy, smoggy, and cloudy days are colder than bright sunny days.
      One has to guess at what you are trying to get across because there are days, such as today where I am {bright & sunny & very cold}, that contradict your statement.
      On down, you write . . .
      Sea surface temperature (average 15C) is not hot enough to lift water vapour to form cloud needed for the rain cycle.
      The 15° C is not representative of much of the ocean surface – many times and places it exceeds 25° C. Beyond that fact, take a small amount of water and smear it over a desk top that is at 15° C and watch the water disappear. Where does it go? Will you say it is not at an early point in the rain cycle? Surely it is.
      I’m think you can write more clearly.
      Happy New Year

  2. “It’s going to hurt the poorest people in the state … Gasoline is not a luxury, it’s essential for folks.”

    Exactly right. This is a regressive tax. Green policies are not progressive. They do not redistribute opportunities to the poor and disenfranchised.
    Green policies aren’t left-wing. They are just wrong.

      • I am not certain why you agree, and then say whatever? Whomever sponsors it, owns it. Progressives often ignore any of their failed programs, other then to say they only lacked adequate funding and support. It will be interesting to see where these funds go don’t you agree?

    • The only way that a cap & trade can work is to make fuel so expensive that people are forced to use less (and thus force low income people to forgo home heat and/or driving to work). My guess is the price will have to go above $6 to achieve noticeable results, probably $10-15 to cut CO2 by drastic amounts. A good reference would be the change in driving from the recent gas price drops – I assume that entire drop must be reversed to achieve any goal set when the prices were high.
      If that also applies to fuel for the transit industry, they will require higher subsidies (than the typical 70%) to pay the fuel bill, then even more subsidies to handle all those low income people who choose to feed their family instead of driving.
      The good news is that this will California’s opportunity to repeat Australia’s house cleaning! And to educate the nation’s other elected green dupes about political reality.

      • Here in europe (UK inc) we are already at $10 – $15 a gallon. There was an effect in the beginning but, like cigarettes, people find money for the things they want usually at the expenses of food, heating, phones etc. A rise in the price of energy is a tax on everyone and everything and reduces economic activity.
        Just look at us in france. The dickhead that is hollande raised all taxes the moment he took power and the economy has nose dived ever since soooooo what does he do next. Simples, or at least he is, he raises taxes again this time on energy.

      • The average American can not afford to pay $10 – $15 a gallon for gasoline, whereas the English and French populace can afford to pay said. And the reason for that is a geographic one.
        The majority of the English and French populace are urban and suburban dwellers with access to mass transit systems for transporting them to and from their places of work ….. whereas the majority of the US populace are suburban and rural dwellers with NO access to mass transit systems for transporting them to and from their places of work, …. their schools, their churches, their grocery stores, their doctors, their lawyers, etc., etc.
        The American populace is a mobile populace due to necessity with a big percentage of the “families” requiring two (2) automobiles for their transportation needs.

    • Green policies are exactly Left Wing/Progressive policies. They are not designed to help the little guy, they are designed to control him.

    • The state is also trying to get folks to do solar panels, which only rich homeowners can install. Since backup energy can’t be reduced for solar (92% backup requirement) we are basically giving rich folk power for free, while the apartment dwellers have to pay the extra cost of power generation for that rich family. In San Diego, I pay 18.5¢ for the first 450 kWh in a month and 32¢ per kWh over that. Typical home uses 900 kWh per month.

    • Progressives claim that they want to help the poor, but the policies they push have been destroying poor people for generations.

  3. “… which supporters say isn’t so high a price to pay for the environmental good it will do.”
    Yes, what environmental good will it do? Will this money put a stop to walrus congregations?

    • It lets the environmentalists feel good about themselves, which after all, is the only thing that matters to them.

  4. Well, we will see how good it is the next time the ballot box comes around. Methinks it will favour parties that support scrapping this inhumane tax. If they are let get away with this, then will slowly but surely tax everything the govt can to pay off the deficit buy more spying equipment and fund more wars.

    • The “ballot box” means nothing. It’s pseudo “democracy”, once every 3-5 years depending where you live.

  5. You are lucky, when the socialist tried to force a carbon tax on Australia, they also tried to stop retailers divulging how much of the price hike was due to the tax. They insisted it was good for use though.

  6. In Australia, even though oil is at ~US$50/brl, we are going to see more costly petrol at the pump. It’s a good thing I blew the big ends out of the engine in my car a few months ago.

  7. It will have no measurable let alone discernible effect … it is nothing more than thieving from the poor so that the elites can feel smug about themselves.

  8. And they think that the recent and ongoing ‘race’ riots are a problem … only thing in Moonbat’s favor is that petrol will be too expensive for molotovs.

    • Is something Moonbat once did at the petrol station the very reason you ‘merikans have signs on your pumps warning you not to fill containers upside-down? This is obviously trying to cater for every idiot in CA, starting with Schwarzenegger..

      • It will likely be too expensive in any quantity for use as anything but molotovs
        Gas at $10 per gallon.
        Fill a Dodge Dakota $220
        Fill a Dodge Charger $160
        Fill a Ford Mustang $120
        Fill a Honda Civic $130
        Fill a Prius $110 (replace the battery $1600 – $2500)
        Make a Molotov Cocktail $1.50

      • Europe has been trying very, very hard this year to destroy it’s economy. Extra taxes, extra regulation and extra unemployed. I predict a massive crash for europe in the nex five years. They simply do not have he governance to stop the decline.

      • With the far left about to take power in Greece, it looks like the financial crisis of a few years ago is about to re-emerge with a vengeance.

      • Europe will let the Greeks leave. Thgey will have no choice. The problems for them arise when the UK decides to leave followed by France. It is worth noting that we, the French, voted against Lisbon but Chirac refused to accept the result, The brits didn’t get a vote, The Irish voted against but were “given a second chance to repent” which mgically ended with a +ve result.
        There is a lot of angst in europe against the EU. I have no idea when it will explode but explode it will. It has been proven by many other socialist/communist systems that they always end in disaster and mayhem. Can the EU avoid this end ? NO, it is impossible. They are too arogant and self centred. I hope I’m not alive when it happens. It will be a very messy termination.

  9. they cannot blame anybody but them selves most people are to busy texting each other, ask them what they think about the global warming fraud all you get is a blank , look vote them out

  10. The warmists were asked by how much this action would reduce temperature in Australia and the world. They refused to answer saying it had nothing to do with temperature. What a load of hogwash. Any lie will do so long as they make our lives miserable.

    • Jack,
      The justification used in Britain was not the contribution to the global problem, but in taking a political and moral lead for others to follow. Wait until the Paris 2015 climate change talks. California will be praised for its example maybe even getting a mention in a keynote speech. For those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to enact this policy, it will be proof that they have enabled California to become a major player on the World stage.
      If you look at the British and European examples, their is not a lead that others in their right minds would follow. Taxes on gasoline are $5 a gallon. Electricity is around 15-20c a kilowatt hour and set to rise sharply. Energy-intensive industries are closing down as they cannot compete.
      The tangible costs, are borne by ordinary people in reduced living standards and jobs. Neither will future generations enjoy the benefits of averted climate change, as the impact on global emissions will be slight. By the standard of policies creating a better state than doing nothing, then climate mitigation policies will fail by any measure.
      http://manicbeancounter.com/2014/02/23/why-climate-change-mitigation-policies-will-always-fail/

      • David A. ” Will the deepening poverty in Europe make the poor in the third world feel better with more company?”
        I believe the answer to your question is yes. The poor of the third world will be less poor because poor is a relative term. Will they be a any better off? I think not.

      • David A
        Poverty is a relative term for people. Rather than relative income, what is maybe more important is expectations about the future. In a growing economy like India or China people of forty years old will have experienced living standards rising by maybe 3-6% a year all their working lives. Whereas at 20 a bicycle would have been a major investment, a family car might be a possibility in a few years. Although things are hard there is hope for the future. If you lose your job, you may land a better one.
        In a declining economy there is increasing hardship. People have to work longer, and unemployment is high. You have to hold onto what you have. Losing a job past 50 may mean never working again.
        This is where a carbon tax or carbon trading will fail politically. To work the cost of using fossil fuels must be increased year on year to wean people off their dependency. Policy must engender an expectation in people that if they do modify their lifestyles life will become harder and harder.
        The traditional analogy of policy incentives is with a donkey. To get this stubborn creature to move in direction you desire you both dangle a carrot in front of its nose (the positive incentives) and tap its rump with a stick (the negative incentives). A carbon tax and pricing carbon is using the stick approach. Like with taps on a donkey’s rump, the small discomfort of the additional costs are soon forgotten against the bigger inconvenience of curtailing car use. It is only with ever-larger fuel costs that the downward trend in fuel usage will be continued.

      • Yes, poverty is very relative. My simple point is that increasing European poverty will certainly do nothing to help those in the third world. In fact it will harm them. Real wealth raises all boats, and in a global economy this is ever more true. Government statists time and again continue to institute regressive policies that stifle economies.

    • Well then, maybe you should ask them by how much the tax will reduce ‘climate disruption’ and ‘extreme weather events’, or perhaps by how much it will increase the oceans alkalinity. There has to be something that it does, other than generate more cash for the government.

  11. Who keeps voting for Jerry Brown? I’m afraid as long as California has a large contingent of green lunatics willing to support this nonsense, the only option is to vote with your feet.

    • One thing you find in places where left wing policies have been in control for more than a few decades is the population gets very polarized. There are the very rich, who can afford the taxes, and the very poor who are on the receiving end. The middle class either leaves or is forced into poverty by all the taxes and regulations.

    • Eric. I left California in 2004. I said to myself that the weather in California is nice but it ain’t that nice. “You don’t have to live like a refugee”

    • Perhaps, If fuel costs go up the 50 cente or so per gallon at the beginning of the year, people will remember at the next polls

  12. Progressive policies have nothing to do with the poor, and everything to do with feeling good about one’s self.

  13. When looking at reducing carbon emissions it is worth understanding some basic economics. The average person spends a small proportion of their total income on fossil fuels and expenditure is viewed as a necessity. There are also no close substitutes in terms of price or availability. That means a large increase in price will have very little impact on demand. That is price is inelastic with respect to demand. Here in the UK gasoline taxes are about $5 per US gallon and have been high for decades. It is the same in much of Europe.
    Restricting the availability of permits is more likely to be passed onto businesses. Some will just pass it onto consumers (e.g. the local supermarket, as consumers will not be able to shop elsewhere). But manufacturing that competes in a national or global market place will see profits fall. Energy-intensive manufacturing will move elsewhere.
    So carbon trading, if successful in driving down emissions, will do so at the expense of jobs. But more significantly it will reduce living standards.

    • I do not agree with the first part of your post as Americans drive far more then Europeans, for both business and pleasure. American products have a higher petro expense also, due too the distances traveled for many products. At per gallon prices around 3.50 per gallon we often see noticeable cuts in spending. However if the current large cut in the PB price of oil continues, this will be easily absorbed.

      • I would expect for there to be a short-term fall in gasoline demand following a steep price rise. There was a 20% reduction when the oil price shot up to $140 a barrel a few years ago. However, people adjust their budgets. One way is to keep cars for longer, then to downsize. But fuel costs are not usually the majority part of the cost of car ownership. If you drive 20,000 miles a year in a 20mpg car, at $3 a gallon (I am guessing) you spend $3,000 per year on fuel. A new car would lose more than that in depreciation. In the UK car tax and insurance would add $1000. Older cars might cost $1000 per year in maintenance. So an extra 40c per gallon or $400 per year will not make much difference.
        What will make the difference is that over time the carbon price will increase. Once it starts adding $2-$3 a gallon people will be downsizing and buying diesel cars more.

    • maniacbeancounter: motor fuel demand is not totally inelastic; there are always ways to reduce automobile trips. Years ago when fuel prices hit a relative high point we changed our routine to do food shopping once a week returning from church each Sunday. The market we preferred was on the way home anyway, so it saved time as well as fuel. The habit has stuck because it still make sense even at a lower fuel cost.
      Telecommuting is now a viable option to avoid driving to work at least some of the time for part of the workforce. Working from home one day a week saves 20% on commuting fuel costs. Expected technology improvements will expand telecommuting viability.
      I agree demand is relatively inelastic compared to other expenses, but I maintain large fuel price increases will cause changes in behavior to reduce consumption.

      • Alan,
        Over time large increases in the cost of fuel will cause changes in behavior in some people. But this will be quite marginal. Consider your own changes in fuel consumption. You may have cut the money spent on fuel by 20%. It will make very little difference to your disposable income. Even if you spend 10% of your disposable income on fuel, making those savings will not make much difference to your living standards.
        Let me give you the British example (is US gallons and US$) to illustrate.
        When I last filled the car up it cost $6.60 a gallon for gasoline. Driving 9000 miles a year in a 30mpg car I am spending the equivalent of $2000 per year, which would be about 6% of disposable income for someone on average income. Of the $2000, about $1360 or two-thirds is in tax. The average British motorist drives 12,000 miles per year. Buying an efficient diesel car might reduce the fuel bill by $700, but would increase my annual car costs by a greater amount.
        Now look at the objectives of the policy. To stop what climate alarmists call “dangerous” global warming means reducing US emissions per capita by over 80% in 35 years. Car transportation is one of the easier objectives to fulfil. Under technology available in the next 10 years – with 60mpg small diesels or hybrids – and a reduction of greater than 80% in American car mileage it might be possible if two things happen. First it means most Americans using public transport for most of the time. Second, huge areas of the suburbs would have to become ghost towns and the cities would become like Sao Paulo or even Hong Kong, with mile after mile of 15-20 storey apartment blocks. Then extensive electric underground rail networks could transport people the much shorter distances between their homes, the supermarkets, the churches and places of work.
        Of course, I could be wrong in this. Maybe there will be a huge breakthrough in electric car technology that will enable a range of greater than 120 miles, and with costs comparable to the internal combustion engine. I did a comparison recently between the best selling electric in the UK and an efficient Ford. The Ford wins by a long way. (same would go for a VW, General Motors, Toyota or other mass-market brand of compact car)
        Kevin Marshall

      • What would likely be needed is to completely rework society from a horizontal structure where driving 20 to 50 miles to work and back home or 5 miles to the store and back is the norm, to a vertical society where work is 20 storeys down in the same building and the store and entertainment options are on the bottom floors with parking in sub basements. That is the only viable way to end daily automobile use.
        The problem with public transportation is availability. I have to walk 1.5 miles to get to my nearest Bus Stop, and the nearest stop from my workplace is 2.2 miles. For me to take Public Transit would require my walking 7.4 miles per day. Public Transit in my area would need to be increased by some 500%. (which means more fuel consumption by mass transit)
        Vertical society is the only real way to reduce fuel consumption by 80%

      • Vertical society is the only real way to reduce fuel consumption by 80%
        ——————–
        And to build that vertical society to house 150 to 200 million people is going to cost how much?
        And who is going to pay for it and how long will it take to build it?
        And how much will the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions increase during the building process ….. because you can’t be using “green energy” to do it?
        Thus a conversion to “green energy” and/or a ”vertical society” is out of the question and would only exacerbate the downward slide into anarchy.

      • “Vertical society is the only real way to reduce fuel consumption by 80%”
        ——————–
        And to build that vertical society to house 150 to 200 million people is going to cost how much?
        And who is going to pay for it and how long will it take to build it?
        And how much will the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions increase during the building process ….. because you can’t be using “green energy” to do it?
        Thus a conversion to “green energy” and/or a ”vertical society” is out of the question and would only exacerbate the downward slide into anarchy.
        And to build that vertical society to house 150 to 200 million people is going to cost how much?
        Not much more than it currently costs to construct large buildings, the expence is taken over time.
        (a list of current US constructions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Buildings_and_structures_under_construction_in_the_United_States )
        And who is going to pay for it and how long will it take to build it?
        Ultimately the people who pay for the construction is those that pay for it right now.
        If you buy a condominium or apartment in new building in a major city, you have paid for part of the buildings construction.
        And how much will the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions increase during the building process ….. because you can’t be using “green energy” to do it?
        About the same ammount that is currently being used in all current construction projects today going forward about 50 years or so (a gradual transfer not sudden)
        us a conversion to “green energy” and/or a ”vertical society” is out of the question and would only exacerbate the downward slide into anarchy.
        Only if forced relocation happens. But like I said above, if the changeover is gradual…
        We might prefer to retain our houses in rural settings until the end of our days but our childres might prefer to live in a more vertical situation. Over the course of several generations, a vertical society could come about

    • It’s only inelastic in the short term. In the longer term people buy more fuel efficient cars, get jobs closer to home, and make other sacrifices.

  14. 29 Dec: Globe & Mail: Dave Sawyer: Why Stephen Harper will move the climate needle in 2015
    (Dave Sawyer is a climate economist with EnviroEconomics, the Development Director for Carbon Management Canada’s Low Carbon Pathways Group and a past vice-president with the International Institute for Sustainable Development)
    First, at the G20 Summit in Brisbane in November, Stephen Harper committed $300-million to the United Nation’s Green Climate Fund. Then, a few weeks later, he was up in the House of Commons expounding on the economic craziness of climate policy. Then, just a week before Christmas, Mr. Harper tempered his climate craziness with a nod to Alberta’s GHG system regulating the oil sands, saying Alberta has a model that could be broadly applicable. Huh?…
    First, in 2015, Canada will commit to new long-term GHG reductions. Canada has to stand up in front of the international community at Conference of the Parties in December 2015 (COP21) and commit to long-term reductions in emissions. Expect Canada to come forward in the first quarter of 2015 with a long-term emission reduction pledge and even, perhaps, a climate-change plan…
    One plausible federal response is to announce a series of sector-by-sector regulations aimed at large emitters that are now more or less finalized. While these pending regulations will not seek significant GHG reductions, they would nevertheless provide talking points on the world stage highlighting enhanced ambition.
    Second, Alberta is likely to update its oil and gas GHG regulations in 2015. Despite the sudden impoverishment of the oil and gas sector, the reality is that an updated Alberta GHG system will cost pennies on the barrel…
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/why-harper-will-move-the-climate-needle-in-2015/article22225463/

    • I have seen stop signs in and around my neighborhood with “Harper” on the lower bottom edge. Just in front of a Starbucks in Coquitlam and one on Burnaby Mountain where Simon Fraser University is located. There is a saying around here, and throughout Canada called “Harper Derangement Syndrome”. There is nothing Harper can do to appease these people. If he wants to lose my vote however, then all he has to do is mention climate change, and I won’t bother voting in the federal election next year.

    • Looney leftists and looney left wing media (CBC, CTV, Global, CityNews, most newspapers) in Canada is driving this so called need to move the climate change needle.
      Common Canadians (hopefully) see through this misplaced leftist agenda and return Harper to power in the September 2015 general elections.

    • Senor Bloke:
      Governor Brown has a history of personal frugality. (Google for the history of the California Governor’s Mansion.) That doesn’t mean the rest of us are enamored of eco-induced poverty.

  15. But the Air Resources Board says the state’s plan to ease climate change would be gutted without the program, and delaying it would only delay the incentive for oil companies to produce cleaner fuels.
    Oil companies don’t need incentives to produce cleaner fuels or regulations that increase petrol prices.
    From a horse’s mouth…

    The natural instincts of fuel suppliers (API) to the above issue is strong, unified defensive posture of taking action to see that the burden of ‘fixing’ a vehicle problem is not shifted to oil industry. However, given the trend in recent years and the global drive for cleaner fuels, it is inevitable that the gasoline industry will continue to be regulated and/or pressured toward tighter gasoline specifications. Some suppliers may even voluntarily accede to the desire of the Auto’s if they perceive a niche opportunity for competitive advantage.
    The above situation was discussed at a Puget Sound strategic planning meeting in January. From those discussions it became clear that this was not the most critical strategic challenge facing PSP. It was not even determined definitely to be a ‘negative’, given the business environment on the West Coast as discussed below.
    As observed over the last few years and as projected well into the future, the most critical factor facing the refining industry on the West Coast is the surplus refining capacity, and the surplus gasoline production capacity. (The same situation exists for the entire U.S. refining industry.) Supply significantly exceeds demand year round.
    –Texaco, internal memo, 1996, “Highly Confidential”
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/38ygojc1riik0id/refinery%20memo%20001.pdf?dl=0

    I remember when Rupert Murdoch was suggesting that a war on Iraq would reward us with oil at $20 a barrel.
    “That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country,” he added.

  16. This is yet another chapter in “California Policy Gone Wild”. Watch for second and third order effects start flying off as this “high speed” train wobbles down the track.

  17. California Fuel Facts has a summary of the impacts of the LCFS on the energy sector in CA. http://cafuelfacts.com/californias-low-carbon-fuel-stanard-lcfs/
    Having lived in SoCal during the fuel shortages in the ’70’s and ’80’s, I know what length people will go through to get fuel at lower prices. My father owned a MB 190D which got 50 MPG (but had only 60 hp!). He put a second fuel tank in the car and drove to Tijuana to purchase cheap Pemex diesel across the boarder. So I believe people will now drive to Vegas, Reno, or north to Oregon with PU trucks and 55 gal drums to get cheap fuel as long as the price difference is reasonable.
    In 2007, I attended a CalEPA LCFS meeting and listened to them opine on the future low cost and abundant supply of Cellulosic Ethanol. The cost savings and increased supply would help California avoid importing finished fuel from other countries decreasing its dependency on foreign fuel. I asked: “What happens when CE is not commercially available in reasonable quantities in time to meet the LCFS mandates?” Mary Nichols, head of CalEPA, replied that CA has been assured by producers that all the CE that is needed to conform to the LCFS will be available at reasonable costs. I asked what their contingency plan was if this didn’t come to pass and only got derision in reply. Now, nearly 8 years later, CE is still not commercially viable. and the feedstock to make CE, biomass from agriculture, is $80+/ton and yield is generally 1.4 bbl/ton of hydrocarbon fuel or 2 bbl/ton of ethanol. On an energy equivalent basis, no including profit or debt repayment, Cellulosic Ethanol cannot be produced for less than $4/gal, more likely $6-7.
    At a public meeting, a company making butanol into jet fuel claimed they needed $6.50/gal to break even, and they wanted the airlines to foot the bill for the “green” fuel. This will never happen.
    We will see what Californians will pay in additional costs for a basic commodity that is essential to their economy before they rebel and treat Gov. Moonbeam just like they treated Gray Davis a few years ago.

  18. California stupidity. It never ends……and its the voters that keep voting for the scum that pass these laws……..I don’t have an ounce of pity for them since they keep electing these ass-clowns.

  19. I’m not sure that most people drive for pleasure much. In the UK, people drive to work. They drive to the shops, as big supermarkets have forced the closure of many local shops. There is a school run. People drive to some holiday destinations, they drive to many leisure activities – but the sheer joy of taking the car out somewhere to enjoy the journey is a thing of the past.Increased fuel prices just mean that people have less money to spend on other things. In 1976 I heard “If petrol goes up to 50p, I’ll have to give up the car!” Those of them still alive are still driving!
    Remember that a UK gallon is bigger than a US gallon, but US prices are still a lot less than ours. Governments are hooked on fuel taxes, and refuse to go into rehab.
    I think fuel taxes are too high, but remember that at GBP1.30 per litre, petrol is significantly cheaper than bottled water from most outlets, and morons are buying that in preference to the stuff that comes out of the tap at approximately 0.3p per litre!

  20. A friend recently made some home improvements and had a small contractor’s sign in the front yard. A couple from California pulled to the curb, thinking that the sign meant the house was for sale, then began asking about prices in the neighborhood, local food prices, etc. They were fed up with the high cost of CA and the changing laws, the intrusions into their lives. Everyone in this part of the country has heard the stories of California before, as there are now many Californians in our midst.
    Anecdotes are not data, but there is a migration underway.

    • Give it a few years and all those California expatriates will be agitating for the very same policies which made California the place they wanted to leave.

    • Alan. You may find that some of those folks have shi! In their nest and now come to do the same in yours.

    • There is a migration out of Ca. Check out the Uhaul truck rental rates between SF Ca and Austin Tx
      $700 Austin to SF … $1700 SF to Austin. UHaul has to pay drivers to return the truck to SF, so gives a large discount going to Ca.

  21. The new taxes would generate a lot more resistance if they came at a time of historically high fuel prices. As it is, people have just started enjoying significant fuel price cuts, so the impact of new taxes will be considerably muted in the public mind. In effect they are being taxed on “found money”, and relatively speaking, they are still better off than recent times they can remember.
    What the mood will be when/if fuel prices rise steeply in the future is a different issue. I suspect most people will have forgotten about these new taxes by then and it will only be by comparing California fuel prices with those in neighboring states that people can see the cumulative effect of all these regulations.
    I wonder if an Indian tribe could set up fuel stations on reservation land and sell gas without collecting federal and state taxes?

  22. I have a temporary job in Tulsa, OK and gas prices are about 75¢ lower here than in my home in San Diego. That is already a huge difference. I think though, pricing may already reflect some of next years increase, which is why the Berkeley egghead can claim only a 10¢ rise. The other 10¢ is already in. (Sorta like claiming min wage increases don’t cause unemployment, by calculating from the date of increase, not accounting for the fact that businesses already cut back before the increase to avoid problems)
    Note that Tulsa is about 30¢ more than Oklahoma City, where gas is now in the upper $1.50 range.

  23. What is California doing with all those taxes anyway. Their highways are old and generally of lower quality than, say, Tennessee.

    • A substantial fraction of the new taxes go to the Brown Streak choo-choo train. That boondoggle is largely free of environmental review, naturally.

  24. CA already has the highest gas tax in the nation according to this list 71.3 cents goes to the state and federal government per gallon. The gas station is lucky to make 10 cents per gal. So the government gets more for doing nothing. Ref:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_taxes_in_the_United_States
    Wait til the prices rise again to average $4 – Californians will not be happy – especially the poor (and “middle” class).
    The states with the lowest gov. tax per gal is Alaska $0.30.8/gal and New Jersey at $0.32.9/gal.

    • As I think Churchill once said – a democracy (which we do not have, by the way, and never did) is a perfect form of govt because the people get exactly what they deserve.

  25. This isn’t really about doing any good – we all know any emissions reductions will be insignificant in their effects, despite the ridiculous claims about respiratory deaths (mostly amongst those on the verge of death already) or the climate change nonsense. That’s for the support of the environmentalists – the real reason is for the tax revenues that bankrupt California needs. The environmental malakey is a smokescreen, which fortunately for officials, is believed by the believe-anything CA greenie beenies.

  26. “But the Air Resources Board says the state’s plan to ease climate change would be gutted without the program, and delaying it would only delay the incentive for oil companies to produce cleaner fuels.”
    Strange, I haven’t heard of any “low-carbon” gasoline in the works. Must be new.

    • Eco freaks have a different definition of low carbon. If they can fake the accounting of a bio source or electrical source to show that the energy is ” renewable” is is considered low carbon. Natural gas is not renewable, and therefore bad – even though the earth generates an almost countless amount of NG every year.

  27. Ernest Callenbach grins from the great beyond. While certainly, the totality of Ecotopia has not (yet) occurred, significant elements of what was described (over 35 years ago) have been put into place. The concept is being given a hearing on a vast scale (mostly as a result of sloth and lack of understanding of the true nature of environmental issues by the general public). Future historians will have much to say about our experiences and outcomes.

  28. Anyone with common sense can see that it is about money. Politicians think it is just fine to tax tax tax so they can spend spend spend. They do not care who actually pays the tax and who it hurts. Enviro-kooks think its a great way to control the use of fuels….and of course they always have an alternative they want money for (solyndra for example). Nobody really thinks this will “protect the environment”….but they do think it will protect their own bottom line and “punish the rich guy”. Too bad the “rich guy” is the trucker or plumber or carpenter or farmer that works 50-60 hours a week just to feed his family.

  29. So carbon emission that is lower than those from natural rainforest like the Amazon (see carbon satellite images) – needs to be further reduced?
    Wouldn’t it more effectively reduce carbon emissions to “pave the forests and put up a parking lot”?

  30. Right before the elections in November, the Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, who was running for Governor, actually said that because Maryland had raised gas taxes the last 4 years, it lowered the price of gas! One cannot argue with a dolt. He then lost the election to the Republican. Here in Maryland, we should now have 4 years gridlock, we can only hope.

  31. Bwah ha ha! CA suckers. Oh yeah, you’re going to cure that drought and make it rain via this tax and also make the planet much much better and safer from weather. Dolts.

  32. It’s ironic that people want to move to California because of the nice warm weather. Policies like this make it economically stupid to work or operate a business in California yet millions of people continue to do both because of its warm climate. If North Dakota tried to raise taxes to California levels, it would rapidly depopulate.

  33. Climate morons, who hate oil, think that high gas prices are fine and dandy; the higher, the better in fact. This is not because they can neccesarily afford the higher prices. There is a disconnect between their cherished, idiotic Belief system, and the effect that Belief system has on their own economic well-being.

  34. Californian here. It’s not working, gridlock on the freeways is worse than ever. Cali’s are addicted to cars, and they’re getting more and more agressive out there. If you don’t ride the bumper of the guy in front of you, horn-blowing and passing, regardless of the double yellow lines ensues. It gets more insane every month. Yes, we bought a home elsewhere and soon we’ll move out of this madness, but no, we do not want to bring CA idiocy with us, quite the opposite. I dunno who the nuts are voting these freaks into office in this state, but I ain’t one of them. All I can tell you is that many, many of the Californians I know are really ignorant people, and they don’t have a clue about reality, only know what they see in the media and on their smartphones. It’s sad what we’ve become in this wasteland of a state.

    • It appears from talk around many and various blogs, that due to their beliefs and political stances- altogether a type of altered or misperceived reality- that Californians have become virtual pariahs, to many in the rest of the country. This seems to be a reaction based on the apprehension that they might try to alter us, to be like them.

      • Sadly as a group we do force our views on others. It has become so expensive in CA that we leave for cheaper places and then when we get there, start voting for all the nice social services, and environmental regulations, and restrictions on evil businesses, that we all felt good about back in CA, not realizing these stupid policies are what made the cost of living go up in the first place. Nevada is becoming much more liberal, as an example, mostly from fleeing Californians voting in leftist politicians in NV.

    • Part of the problem with California is that Smart Prople (such as yourself) are leaving it. This creates the situation where the per capita intelligence takes a severe drop and so the only remaining votes are idiotic in nature

  35. “…the Air Resources Board says the state’s plan to ease climate change…”

    The Air Resources Board must be made up of comedians; the state has a plan to ease climate change? I wonder if the medical marijuana office is next door to the Air Resources Board. Donating a can of beans would do more for world hunger than their plan will do for climate change.
    It is not so funny how eco-fundamentalists do not recognize themselves as plutocrats when they without apology hurt low-income families.
    What is painfully transparent is that California needs to increase their tax revenue and saying “We need to raise taxes” is not as sexy as saying “Climate change” to do so.

  36. Interesting (and beneficial) timing… Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in a few years and now they are going to get bumped higher from this cap-and-trade tax.

  37. Couldn’t be happening to a better state. Keep penalizing earners, re-electing governor moonbeam and wondering why it keeps going sideways. Perfect.

    • It might be just as you say
      As elected we’ll all have to pay
      either at the pump
      or down at the dump
      we’ll be living the effluent way

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