California Carbon Tax Would Be First at the Gas Pump
California would be the first U.S. state to impose a “carbon tax” directly on motorists at the fuel pump under a plan by a leading Democratic lawmaker to ease greenhouse-gas pollution.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants to shift responsibility for emissions on gasoline sold by companies such as Chevron Corp. (CVX), a cost that would otherwise be passed on to consumers in fuel prices. Instead, Steinberg wants to directly tax motorists 15 cents a gallon, rising to 24 cents in 2020.
California was the nation’s first state to set a limit for most carbon emissions, with regulations that aim to achieve a reduction of about 15 percent by 2020. The state auctions a limited number of pollution permits that industries can use to help meet the limit under a system called cap-and-trade.
“Under either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade applied to fuel, consumers will undoubtedly pay more at the pump,” Steinberg told the Sacramento Press Club on Feb. 20. “Higher prices discourage demand. If carbon pricing doesn’t sting, we won’t change our habits.”
The message is clear. Make the consumer pay in order to change his/her consumption habit. The party is over for “Gas Guzzlers”.
The California Senate President has already answered my survey question about who should pay for environmental protection.
Please download and complete the survey here.