California’s Carbon Tax Fails to End Civilization as We Know It

The 91 Freeway, Los Angeles (Image Credit: ChinoLemus / WikiMedia Commons)

The 91 Freeway, Los Angeles (Image Credit: ChinoLemus / WikiMedia Commons)

California passed AB 32, the law that penalizes carbon emissions, as a way to incentivize the fossil fuel industry to use lower-carbon fuel stocks and reduce their overall impact on atmospheric pollution. At this point, limiting global warming to within two degrees Celsius by 2100 is unlikely, but if we stop trying the damage will be much worse.

California’s cap-and-trade program was initiated back in 2006 with the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act, and ever since the carbon lobby has been wailing that it will be devastating to the state’s commuters. Yet here it is and the sun is still shining.

The truth is, gas is still a dollar cheaper than it was a year ago (according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service) – and that’s great. But even when Americans were paying nearly $4 per gallon, we were still paying far less than the developed world.

As CityLab points out, American fuel prices have been kept artificially low by stagnant gas taxes that have remained unchanged – at the federal level – since 1993. If you want to know what the rest of the world is paying, check out GlobalPetrolPrices.com, which maintains an up-to-date listing of gas prices for most major countries.

Read the rest at Planet Experts.

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