Even Higher Gas Prices Coming to California as State Seeks to Curb Fossil Fuels, Fight Climate Change

California’s average regular unleaded gas prices are already $5.27 a gallon, nearly $2 higher than the national average of $3.61, data show.

Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
A gas station at Florida’s Broward County on June, 12, 2022. Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Californians already paying the country’s highest gas prices are facing an additional spike of nearly 50 cents a gallon thanks to the state’s far-reaching climate agenda. 

In part of its goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, a report by the California Air Resources Board indicates that proposed Low Carbon Fuel Standard amendments being considered by the state are projected to lead to higher costs to consumers in 2024 and beyond.

“Once the proposed amendments are implemented in 2024, they are projected to potentially increase the price of gasoline by an average of $0.37 per gallon, potentially increase the price of diesel by an average of $0.47 per gallon, and fossil jet fuel $0.35 per gallon,” the board’s report notes.

California’s average regular unleaded gas prices are $5.27 a gallon, nearly $2 higher than the national average of $3.61, the American Automobile Association’s gas price tracker indicates. 

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard aims to discourage petroleum fuels in favor of “renewable alternatives” to power “cleaner transportation options as the sector moves toward zero emissions,” the board notes. Those costs of the regulations are projected to increase by even more than 50 cents a gallon over the next two decades. 

“On average, from 2031 through 2046 the proposed amendments are projected to potentially increase the price of gasoline by $1.15 per gallon, potentially increase the price of diesel by $1.50 per gallon and fossil jet fuel by $1.21 per gallon,” the report indicates. 

While a hearing had been set for the regulations in March, the air resources board announced it would postpone it to “a later date” to allow for more discussion of the regulatory package. 

“The astronomical taxes and price of everything from food to gas is driving people out of California. People are putting their rent on credit cards,” a critic of the regulations and state senator, Janet Nguyen, told Fox KTVU. “So what does the state do? It imposes a secret 47-cent fee in addition to the state’s gas tax so now we’ll be paying over $6 a gallon.”

The air resources board said the figures were “intended to provide a range of financial possibilities.” 

“The LCFS helps drive down the cost of low carbon fuels in California by rewarding low carbon fuel producers with credits that are paid for by dirty fuel producers,” the board’s public information officer, Dave Clegern, told the outlet. “This is not a tax and there is no money coming to the state government for this program.”


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