The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet’ and `Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free. — John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions 1787

Environmentalist Suicide at the Gas Pump

October 9, 2012   ·   By   ·   0 Comments

gasIn September 2008, before Barack Obama was elected president and Steven Chu appointed Department of Energy Secretary, Chu stated, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

Thanks in large part to strict pollution limitations and refinery and pipeline misfortunes, one state is now much closer to those levels.

Gas prices hit an all-time high in California at an average of $4.6140 a gallon, due to a reduced supply and a volatile market.

California has some of the most stringent fuel regulations in the nation; making it so no other energy markets can step up to take some of the burden off consumers needing to fill up their gas tanks. Therefore, if a refinery goes down, Californians are left with little choice but to pay a premium price for gasoline.

Unfortunately this is just one more crisis—of a very long list—that California has brought on itself by its own unabashed actions.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “over the last two decades four refineries in the state have shut down rather than invest in expensive upgrades to comply with fuel regulations.”

As refineries come back online in the state, prices should lower and stabilize.  However, it may not last long.

The Wall Street Journal continues: “Any relief Californians feel will be short-lived. The state’s cap-and-trade program, which charges businesses for emitting carbon, will take effect this November. Oil companies warn they’ll pass on the costs to consumers.”

The carbon trading market opens in California on Nov. 14.  The Sacramento Bee summarizes the cap-and-trade program:

“Under the program, more than 400 big industrial users will be subject to an emissions ceiling, or “cap.” They will receive tens of millions of emissions allowances, each one representing the right to emit a ton of carbon. The total amount of available carbon credits will decline slightly each year.”

Though a similar market is used in Europe to try and cap greenhouse emissions, it hasn’t been used in the U.S. on such a broad scale.  Ten percent of the carbon credits will be sold at an auction, while the rest will be given away for free. Big companies and businesses that buy up the 10 percent will be able to sell them to others.

The Sacramento Bee explains that in the first year the burden of buying these credits will be $1 billion and is set to increase each year.

A small business doesn’t stand a chance of competing in this market.  Likewise, consumers of these businesses will also take a hit as products, including gasoline, become more expensive.

While it may be comforting in the short term to know that California Gov. Jerry Brown instructed the California Air Resources Board to increase the fuel supply by allowing the immediate sale of cheaper and readily available winter-blend gasoline, which the state typically sells after Oct. 31, he is capable of doing much more. He could just as easily request the very-Democrat California Assembly and Senate to roll back the regulations that got California into this mess of exorbitantly higher gas prices on average than the rest of the nation.

Furthermore, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) requested the federal government investigate the high prices afflicting the state and wonders whether gasoline companies are illegally raising gas prices.

The Hill quotes a letter from Sen. Feinstein to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, which states, “California’s consumers are all too familiar with energy price spikes which cannot be explained by market fundamentals, and which turn out years later to have been the result of malicious and manipulative trading activity.”

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), says the answers to these high prices are easily found in the state’s strict regulations and lack of supply. “It would seem California’s overzealous attempt to rid the world of all greenhouses starting in its backyard by overtaxing and overregulating the energy market, thus limiting supply, might be a market fundamental being overlooked by Sen. Feinstein.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy, under the direction of Secretary Chu is working on new energy alternatives like biofuels and electric vehicles to get Americans off their addiction to oil.

However, The Wall Street Journal warns that very limited biofuels qualify under California’s strict pollution rules—corn ethanol is not one of them—and could result in the closing of even more oil refineries.

It’s hard to find a state that heaps more trouble on itself than California.  As it further kowtows to the wishes of Secretary Chu and the Obama administration it should expect a lot more than just higher gas prices.

And the rest of the country should take note of where America’s leaders would like to steer the nation—directly down the Golden path currently being paved with high energy prices and even more soon-to-be failing businesses.

Note: Reader comments are reviewed before publishing, and only salient comments that add to the topic will be published. Profanity is absolutely not allowed and will be summarily deleted. Spam, copied statements and other material not comprised of the reader’s own opinion will also be deleted.

Similar Posts:

Rebekah Rast is the national correspondent of Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau. Americans for Limited Government is dedicated to putting the principles of limited government into action. They work with local groups across the nation to promote freedom, limited government, and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Their goal is to harness the power of American citizens and grassroots groups in order to put the people back in charge in states across the country. You can follow her on Twitter at @RebekahRast.
Rebekah Rast
View all articles by Rebekah Rast
Rebekahs website
Clip to Evernote

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.

Featured Articles


All About Marriage: A Defender’s Toolkit

Bob Ellis

Ryan T. Anderson has a great series of articles about marriage at Ricochet, released in conjunction with his new book, co-authored with Sherif Girgis and Robert P. George, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. Anderson discusses why marriage matters, what marriage is, and why government has a role in protecting marriage from being undermined or counterfeited.


Fairness Doctrine…for License Plates?!

Gina Miller

Last Friday, an 84-year-old President Reagan appointee, North Carolina Federal Judge James C. Fox, issued a ruling declaring the state’s “Choose Life” license plates to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment, giving the ACLU its desired victory against the message, “Please don’t choose to kill your pre-born baby.”


O Little Town of Bethlehem

William J. Federer

Phillips Brooks was born DECEMBER 13, 1835. The bishop of the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts, Phillips Brooks took a trip to the Holy Land in 1865, and wrote home: "After an early dinner, we took our horses and rode to Bethlehem...Before dark, we rode out of town to the field where they say the shepherds saw the star. It is a fenced piece of ground with a cave in it (all the Holy Places are caves here), in which, strangely enough, they put the shepherds..."


Does the Constitution Allow ‘Mandatory Spending’?

Bill Wilson

In 2013, $2.2 trillion of the $3.65 trillion budget will be on so-called “mandatory” spending — a Washingtonian euphemism for automatic spending. It just operates on autopilot, and even increases of its own accord as a function of the rising population that qualifies for benefits and built-in cost-of-living adjustments. But is such a design constitutional?


Govt Union Officials Net $138K Each From Taxpayers


Taxpayers are footing the bill for thirty five union officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation, which spent $4.8 million dollars in union salaries in 2012, paying an average salary of $138,175 per year according to a report released by Americans for Limited Government today.


Other News

Other Commentary

Featured Blogs

"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all." - Ronald Reagan, Nov. 10, 1964