Today Fed Up at the Pump announced more than 500 letters have been sent to Governor Brown from Californians urging him to stop the state-mandated hidden gas tax set to start on January 1, 2015.
“Californians are tired of paying the highest gas prices in the nation,” said Fed Up at the Pump spokesman Jay McKeeman. “Governor Brown and the California Air Resources Board need to listen to the voices of consumers and find another way to reduce carbon emissions without punishing people who have no choice but to cut into their monthly budgets to pay the rising cost of transportation fuels.”
Starting next year, Californians will pay up to 76 cents more per gallon of gas as a result of a gas tax that was created by the CARB and the Brown Administration as part of the “Fuels Under the Cap” portion of cap-and-trade regulations (AB 32).
“CARB hopes high gas prices will make us drive less and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Fed Up at the Pump member Chris McGlothlin of the California Cotton Ginners Association. “That’s just not a viable option for the agriculture industry in the Central Valley. We still have to drive equipment to our fields and our trucks to town to buy parts, and to deliver the commodities we produce.”
In an analysis released earlier this year by Bloomberg writer Megan McArdle, if everyone in the U.S. switched to an electric vehicle tomorrow it would only reduce carbon emissions by 3.5 percent. Even less would be reduced if only California made the switch to all electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicles are still too costly for most families to afford,” said McKeeman. “Instead of reducing carbon emissions, adding transportation fuels to the cap-and-trade program will harm low-income consumers who are dependent on their cars to get to work or school.”
According to a poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California last week, 68 percent of Californians support the state’s goal to reduce carbon emissions, but only 39 percent of Californians support current climate change policies if they increase the cost of transportation fuels. The findings support Fed Up at the Pump’s goal to delay this hidden, unfair gas tax and find another way to combat climate change that doesn’t hurt low-income Californians. The poll results were not surprising to Fed Up at the Pump campaign managers, since the number of visitors on the Fed Up at the Pump website sending letters to Governor Brown was two times higher than average conversion rates.
“In my 20 years of experience mobilizing the public to write letters to the Governor and other elected officials, I have never seen such a vigorous response to an online issue ad,” said Kassy Perry, President of Perry Communications Group and campaign manager for the Fed Up at the Pump campaign. “This is proof that the public is outraged by this hidden tax and will act on that anger through civic engagement.”
To send a letter to Gov. Brown urging him to stop this hidden gas tax, visit www.FedUpatthePump.org
Fed Up at the Pump is a grassroots coalition of businesses, consumers and advocates who are concerned about the negative impacts that a hidden, unfair gas tax will have on California. The coalition’s goal is to halt a state-mandated gas tax – created by the California Air Resources Board “Fuels Under the Cap” regulations – before it goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. This gas tax will disproportionately affect lower-income Californians and there is no guarantee money generated will go to programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The coalition is spearheaded by members of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association, a group of independent fuel conveyers in California. CIOMA members provide a strong backbone to the state’s economy but are often blamed for oil industry gas price hikes. The coalition aims to educate consumers about the source of the gas price increase they will experience in January, 2015, a campaign CIOMA believes that CARB should be conducting so Californians can plan for the upcoming gas tax, especially low-income workers in the Central Valley.