The ruling class likes to portray its predations as targeting the rich, the one percent, and those at the top. In reality, the Pillage People target everybody, particularly working people. For example, in January, government regulations will cause California’s already high gasoline prices to jump 13 to 20 cents a gallon.
This is the result of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, authored by state senator Fran Pavley, an Agoura Hills Democrat, and signed by Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The legislation seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. On January 1, 2015, motor vehicle fuels will be included in the scheme, operated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). As that date looms, legislators and business owners alike have been pushing for relief.
In June, 16 Democratic legislators wrote to CARB boss Mary Nichols. The group’s leader, Fresno assemblyman Henry Perea, said the gasoline price hike would hurt “the most vulnerable members of our communities who must commute to work and drive long distances for necessary services like medical care.” So motor vehicle fuels should be left out, and Perea went on record saying that “the cap-and-trade system should not be used to raise billions in state funds at the expense of low-income motorists.”
More recently, florist Jim Relles wrote in the Sacramento Bee that “just as our economy is recovering from the recession, extending cap and trade to fuel will strike a blow to those who can least afford it because for many, even a slight increase in gas prices takes a gouge out of the shrinking family budget.” And small businesses like Relles’ will take a hit.
Such pleas are not likely to cut any slack with California governor Jerry Brown. He wants one-third of the cap-and-trade funds for his high-speed rail program, including $250 million this fiscal year. Likewise, workers and small business owners can expect little sympathy from Brown’s CARB boss Mary Nichols, a longtime advocate of high gasoline prices. With Nichols, climate change superstition trumps the facts. Hien Tran, lead author of a CARB study on diesel emissions, claimed to have a PhD from UC Davis. He actually bought his PhD from a diploma mill in New York. His study was also faulty, but Nichols did not fire him.
This enabler of fraud is not likely to provide relief, and neither is Jerry Brown, who sees gold in those regulations. As in Washington, politicians and unelected regulators are number one. Workers and taxpayers aren’t even number two.