Friday, January 16, 2015

Gas price plunge before the "STORM"

Let's enjoy these gas prices
before they tax it
up again. 
With gas prices so low . COULD IT BE THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM?  Oil prices per barrel is now around $48. Correspondingly, the price at the pump has fallen in the last three months by more than a dollar to about $2.20 per gallon. It's also vary strange that the DOW was dropping hurting Wall Street while Main Street was doing better . However the money saved in our pockets may soon change . As a result, some in Congress are talking about a 10- or 20-cent hike in the federal tax to use for infrastructure spending. SO The average American buys about 12 gallons of gas a week. Washington would be soaking him for $12 in extra taxes.Strangely enough people care about the cost of living and any reduction in that cost is worthy of celebrating,,,,,and oil impacts prices across a huge spectrum. Good for us and bad for the radical enviro's and our major global enemies. EITHER case it's brewing . Recently Washington Post, columnist Charles Krauthammer proposes a $1/gallon increase in the federal gas tax in order to pay for a revenue-neutral cut in Social Security (FICA) taxes. He argues that taxing work is more damaging to growth and jobs than would be taxing gasoline consumption. It also comes at a time when leading Republicans, like Senators Inhofe, Thune, and Hatch,House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and even Republicans such as Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee have linked arms with the entire road-building industry and green groups that want the cost of fuel to go up. They  are opening-up to raising the gas tax to fund the near-bankrupt Highway Trust Fund. Remember Throughout 2013 (1)> , the oil industry and its allies warned that California’s gasoline prices would soar in January, when the state’s cap-and-trade system to fight global warming would expand to include fuels. ***The change, they argued, would amount to a clandestine tax on California families, who could end up paying 76 cents more per gallon as a result. January is now halfway through — and California’s gas prices are falling. The state’s average for a gallon of regular has dropped 10 cents since the start of the year to reach $2.54 on Friday, according to AAA. Not since May 2009 — during the recession — has California never  seen gas this cheap.Consumers Union (CU) in Sacramento is cautioning state regulators to keep a "close eye" on oil markets in the new year.CU, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, delivered a letter Tuesday to the California Energy Commission’s Petroleum Advisory Committee asking them to be on the lookout for possible price manipulation starting in January 2015.A CU news release stated, "In January 2015, the state is scheduled to extend cap and trade to include transportation fuels. Oil companies must hold enough allowances to cover their emissions, and are free to buy and sell allowances on the open market. Despite knowing this timeline for years, oil interests have been vocal in their opposition to capping emissions on transportation fuels and have tried—and failed—numerous times to delay the start of the program." “Oil companies launched a ballot initiative, backed a number of failed bills to dismantle clean energy efforts and have spent over $70 million lobbying Sacramento politicians. Through it all, consumers have been steadfast in their support of clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union.
A survey recently conducted by Consumers Union found that Californians overwhelmingly support requiring oil companies to produce cleaner fuels (81 percent). The survey also found that consumers believe requiring cleaner fuels would result in more consumer choices (82 percent), and that oil companies should use their vast profits to pay for any costs to clean up consumer fuels (84 percent).
 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 fuel is burned. In the short term, at least, that will mean higher prices at the pump.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. On Monday, drivers in the East and South Bay were paying about $2.68 per gallon for regular gas, according to the American Automobile Association.A couple months ago, consumers and anti-tax advocates were in a frenzy, fretting that new rules taking effect Jan. 1 would cause a $0.15 to $0.75 spike in prices at the pump. Meanwhile, plunging oil values have flipped California gas station marquee digits down $0.31 in the past month, according to data from AAA. An environmental bill long championed by the Obama administration and environmental groups was quietly signed into law this week. The bill, initially expected to fail, was bolstered by last-minute support from a group of moderate Republicans seeking reelection in predominantly Democratic leaning states. The bill strengthens environmental pollution penalties, emission standards and creates a surprising new three dollar a gallon tax increase on gasoline.When gas prices go up, motorists typically blame oil companies, Arab sheiks and Wall Street speculators. This time they can blame Sacramento and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for passing a bill requiring California to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

***"a. A tax credit for individuals and companies who invest in Hybird, Fusion and Electric cars. Make it a no brainier to get one of these vehicles. 
b. Change this law so the cost of the permits and construction is borne by the Oil Companies. We do live in a Capitalist Economy, Right?" So it is a "tax credit" for the businesses and individuals you prefer and "Capitialism" for those you don't. Spoken like a true Democrat. (1)> Cap-and-trade, also known as bait-and-switch. Remember in 2012 when Gov. Brown borrowed $500 million in cap-and-trade funds for the general fund? They're still working on getting that paid back. And his new proposal for cap-and-trade is to use a third of the money to fund the High Speed/Low Speed rail project (HSR). Two problems with that are that a) taking money from cap-and-trade to give to HSR won't help California meet it's carbon reduction goals; and b) it's clearly outside the voter approved funding for Prop 1A. Now that his hobby train project is going off the rails he's starting to act like a less than benevolent dictator.Starting January 1st, though, those declining gas prices aren't expected to go any lower. The beginning of 2015 also brings with it what some are calling California's new hidden gas tax, which could range from 15 cents per gallon to up to 75 cents. Some in the Central Valley aren't happy about the extra cost at the pump. the bill Arnold signed was to reduce, not tax. How is Taxing reducing? It sounds to me like a spin the blame game, we'll tax and say that it's because of this bill!! We are 5.5 years away from 2020 still. This tax has no effect on the oil companies, they are quoted saying, we'll just pass the buck to the consumer, no worries!! So a tax like this only hits the lower income folks, not big money. It's not going to pay for some "air cleaning machine", just a pocket of money to be used for what they deem fit.

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