A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Cap and trade and the price of gas

Written February 3rd, 2020 by Hasso Hering

On Sunday, the price of regular at Albany stations like these was lower than AAA’s Oregon average.

The majority in the Oregon legislature is determined to increase the cost of motor fuels in order to force people to buy and burn less. So in a few years we may look back on the current era as the last time the price of gas in Albany and the rest of the state was relatively low.

On today’s opening day of the 35-day legislative session, House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner said: “We plan on continuing to make progress on some of our state’s most persistent and urgent challenges, and foremost is the climate crisis that is already affecting communities in urban and rural parts of our state.”

You might be hard pressed to say exactly how the “climate crisis” is harming life in the mid-valley. But never mind. The majority will work hard to enact a complicated program to raise the price of fossil energy and thus reduce its use over the next couple of decades or so.

As for motor fuel, we get an idea of what to expect by looking at the price of gas in California, which already has a “cap and trade” program of the kind of Oregon Democrats intend to enact in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The current average price of regular in California is $3.52 per gallon, compared to $2.98 in Oregon, according to AAA. (Albany prices have been well below the Oregon average cited by AAA.)

Part of the difference is caused by higher California state taxes and fees unrelated to cap and trade. And exactly how the Oregon proposal would affect the price here is still unknown. Still, the prices paid by California drivers might give pause to people in Oregon who have no choice but to drive a lot.

It might also be time to prepare. How? Move closer to town if you can. Start saving for an electric vehicle. Look for a job closer to where you live. Or, if nothing else, buy a bike for short trips on errands around town. (hh)

19 responses to “Cap and trade and the price of gas”

  1. Mike Patrick says:

    Time for a revolution agains these people. Just another form of wealth redistribution. I for one will not stand for it. There is no argument you present that will ever convince me otherwise.

    • My Real Name John Hartman says:

      I fully agree. The Billionaire Class in Albany already contribute.
      Quit gouging the rich to help the poor.

      You’d think Robin Hood would just keep quiet.

  2. Lundy says:

    I disapprove of pretty much everything the Legislature does in the name of fighting climate change, because those actions are symbolic at best and economically crushing at worst. But climate change is a real issue for all of us to deal with or not deal with.

    • My Real Name John Hartman says:

      I would ask you the same question I asked state representative Boshart-Davis after I received yet another contemptuous and dismissive email from her offices (offices which I help pay for) proudly touting her disdain for anything resembling Cap & Trade: if you believe global warming is a reality and your only offer of a solution is to bad mouth someone else’s idea, then your complaint rings both shallow and hollow simultaneously…nothing one ought be proud of.

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        If I had your email address, I could send you one too!
        Considering your typical behavior, you probably got much better then you deserved.

      • dwight says:

        If the solutions proposed do not fix the problem, then the problem either does not exist, or is being exploited for someone else’s gain. Blindly trusting corrupt governments to fix climate change is for fools, and chastising others who want real solutions from people who are accountable for results, makes you a shill for money grabbing politicians.

      • Lundy says:

        I ride a bicycle, ride a motorcycle, keep my thermostat low, mow my lawn with a push mower, hang my clothes on the line, shop second-hand, produce minimal food waste, reuse and then recycle everything I can — those are a few mitigating actions, and I don’t need the Legislature to tell me to do them and make me fork over money for doing them.

  3. Cap says:

    Look back at this era? Hasso, there will be no future eras to look back at present eras if we do nothing about climate change.

    I had a hard time opening this blog because I knew what you would say. It takes all my will power to not cancel my membership in your blog again.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Poor little fella!
      Thinking the world owes you something for reading a blog.
      Typical childish LIB.

  4. Joseph Hilleary says:

    You people are unbelievable

  5. Stephen says:

    We passed by each other on our bikes, on Hill, several days back. To hear a fellow biker speak in accommodation of a motoring public currently inured to their present transport is a disappointment.
    A broad swath of our generational peers, with no urgent commitments, would benefit from sharing our enthusiasm for self-propulsion. Could new bike-paths be far behind? Savings from health care reduction? BP and Cardio?
    Environmental change is coming here, to Oregon.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Thank you for putting a big smile on my face this morning.

      The effect of increased bicycle transportation on climate change may be minor, but its effect on health, happiness, and economics will be substantial.

      Economics? Yes — mostly boils down to the cost of land (vastly greater space consumed by cars than bikes) and huge savings from avoiding construction of additional road lanes that won’t be needed.

      Health and happiness? In addition to “BP and Cardio,” there’s a more subtle effect. It takes a bit of effort to ride a bike. It exercises the obvious physical muscles. But, perhaps more importantly, it trains the mind to tolerate a less immediately-gratifying existence. Result: less craving for addictive food (oversweetened, oversalted, low-fiber junk), addictive drugs, and addictive activities (gambling, aimless TV and web-surfing, etc).

  6. Victor says:

    Cap & trade are not popular because most tax payers don’t see the effects. When you see more erratic and stronger storms, that is climate change. Low lying coastal cities are flooding more often. I always tell people to look at the Keeling Curve on the rise in CO2 emissions and the correlation of higher atmospheric temperatures.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      “Low lying coastal cities are flooding more often”
      Just EXACTLY how high are the oceans supposed to be?
      Maybe they are simply returning to their normal levels?

  7. Richard Vannice says:

    Has the California “Cap & Trade” significantly reduced emissions?
    Do you really want to be a part of the reduction? Then quit driving when other modes, school buses, are provided.
    Until we, as a nation, all enact the same regulations and follow them with no favoritism to the big polluters, and the rest of the world follows suit there will be no significant change in the problem.
    Emissions do not stop at the borders, wind and natural currants move them from place to place.

  8. H. R. Richner says:

    Cap and trade amounts to public support of a religion and so it is unconstitutional.

  9. Adam says:

    Three words, Cap and Trade. You’d think that this idea will either save us or doom us. I once had the honor of working with an individual who is much smarter than I and his perspective was that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. So why is it that we can’t get there?

    I doubt seriously that this matter is an all or nothing issue. Climate change needs to be addressed but maybe not in the manner it is currently being presented in the legislature. Both sides seem to be taking a scorched earth position on this. My way or no way.

    Climate change will not be solved overnight with any legislation. It will take collective efforts by all of us and that can ONLY happen when we work together cooperatively and not by dragging others behind us simply because we can do so with a legislative majority. That never works and only creates pent up animosity to be triggered and released as we see in Washington DC today.

    Let the discussion continue and put it up to a vote of the people. Interim legislative sessions are were not meant to be used for major social policy issues. More information is a good thing and hopefully helps us find a way towards a solution that works for folks on all sides of the issue.

  10. Birdieken says:

    Cap and trade is just a tax, so why not tax the people who can afford it? It’s funny the powers that be, seems afraid to let the people vote on this issue. Why?

  11. Bob Zybach says:

    We are not having a “climate crisis.” This is an I-5 Democrat scare tactic to make people give them their money so they can hire more like-minded bureaucrats. My PhD from OSU is for forest history, with a particular research focus on western Oregon for the past 500 years. The weather we are experiencing today is perfectly normal, much better than most of the past 15,000 years, and is definitely not a “crisis.” Whether one wants to consider Smith Warner’s statement a flat-out lie or a political hoax, the fact is that the statement is clearly false. This is the same tactic used by medieval priests to raise money, only instead of being burned in hell if we don’t pay up, our grandchildren will burn on earth and curse us with their dying breaths. High priests and politicians.


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