Californians Deserve Relief From High Gas Prices: Michelle Steel

With the official start of summer just weeks away, families are getting ready to pack up the car and hit the road, visiting places like our beautiful Orange County beaches and our world class theme parks.

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It’s estimated that the average family spends 23 hours on summer road trips. But this year during their travels, families are being hit with some of the highest gas prices they’ve ever seen. In fact, Californians are paying the highest gas prices in the country. The average price for a gallon of gas in our state – about $6.40 – has gone up more than 30% in the last year.

In some places across Southern California, gas is more than $7 a gallon. After months of higher prices at the pump, you don’t need to read national news headlines to know that people are fed up.

Included in the $6.40 gallon of gas is nearly $1.20 in taxes and fees, 51 cents of which is the state’s gas tax. This year the state of California has a budget surplus of almost $100 billion, thanks to state Democrats having collected an extra $55 billion in taxes. Those dollars belong in your pocket, not Gov. Gavin Newsom’s.

Despite bipartisan calls in Congress for Newsom to suspend the tax, and state lawmakers’ opportunity to provide relief for California families, nothing has been done to alleviate these skyrocketing costs. Instead, in just a few weeks on July 1, the gas tax is going to increase to 54 cents a gallon. This is on top of record-high inflation, which is costing the average American household an extra $5,200 this year. It’s time to repeal the state gas tax entirely and begin providing relief to hard-working Californians.

Inflation is just another tax on every American, and in California we already pay some of the highest taxes in the entire country. Repealing this tax could save families up to $10 every time they visit a gas station. But this tax repeal, though helpful, would ultimately be a band aid on a much bigger issue.

The reality is that the United States and California could be strong leaders in the energy independence movement, but liberal policies are holding us back and American families are the ones paying the price. The U.S. is the largest oil producing country in the world, responsible for almost 20% of worldwide crude oil production.

We have the resources and the tools to produce our own supply. Instead, we’re reliant on markets run by dictators like Vladimir Putin and Nicolás Maduro. The United States cannot be a leader on the world stage while beholden to foreign dictators’ oil.

Major U.S. refineries are shutting down while the Biden Administration moves further away from oil and gas production, completely halting new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

40 years ago, California produced 61% of the oil that the state consumed. By 2019 that number had fallen by half, and now the state imports 37% of its oil from Saudi Arabia. We also receive major imports from Iraq. Shockingly, we produce less than 1% of the oil used within our state.

We have the resources right here at home to bring down costs and produce energy to supply our needs. President Biden and national Democrats have been leading the charge to close U.S. refineries by creating stricter regulations that are fueling the crisis we see today. California and the U.S. should use their state-of-the-art technology to be leaders in oil refining.

Unfortunately, the U.S. only has 18% of the world’s refineries, this hurts our economy in many ways, these are high skilled, high paying jobs that could be in California.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register


  1. How difficult is it for the clowns in Sacramento to figure out what to do about gas prices in both the short term and long term.

    Short term: Cut the gas tax or eliminate the sales tax on gas, eliminate the “summer blend” stop badgering and over-regulating oil companies.

    Long term: Encourage drilling both onshore and offshore. Don’t let the “greenies” have all the control. Look to see what regulations can be eliminated not where can you add regulations.

    I realize that this might mean that the State Senate and Assembly might actually have to work to help the people and the economy of California, but maybe such a dramatic change will be just something different to do instead of spending all of their time raising money.

  2. Cars Are Basic, Inc. makes the following points.

    1. The State just passed a budget that does not have the Democrat Promised suspension of the gas tax to give relief to the workers of the state.

    2. The State Democrats refuse to face the massive inflation rate. They refuse to see the comparisons to the Carter war on energy and the Biden/Newsom war on energy. The inflation rate under both is now starting to result in some credit rates in double digits.

    3. The State is going to increase the gasoline tax at a time when people are starting to lose jobs because the inflation caused by ridiculous energy policies is crushing both the State of Calif. and the nation.

    The State Democrats want to give tax credits for those who give up cars. OK, and who will pay for these credits? It comes out of the pockets of the workers.

    Does this sound like rational governance? Increase cost of everything, make the nation a beggar for energy when it was self sufficient, and then increase the minimum wages to the point where even if you can suffer the inflation you cannot afford to pay for workers.

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