How state’s carbon tax adds to your fuel bill

This article was originally published by the Orange County Register.

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We’ve been gouged again at the pump. Although obscured by the recent general decline in fuel prices, California’s new carbon tax on vehicle fuels boosted prices 11 cents a gallon as of Jan. 1, according to a new calculation by the state Legislative Analyst.

The increase stems from Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law. It mandated cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the state to 1990 levels by 2020. To do that, it gave vast new powers to the California Air Resources Board, which has operated through the 2008 Climate Change Scoping Plan and subsequent updates.

According to the CARB’s website, “Reductions in GHG emissions will come from virtually all sectors of the economy and will be accomplished from a combination of policies, planning, direct regulations, market approaches, incentives and voluntary efforts.” That’s how it gets around imposing a new tax without voter approval, as required by the state Constitution. The tax is considered a “fee” or a cost of implementing the anti-pollution regulation …

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