California Will Sneak in a 50-Cent Gas Increase Over the Next Two Years

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: May 16, 2024

Bad news is coming for residents in the Golden State. A hidden fee will soon be applied to the gas pumps, making life even more unaffordable.

An emissions reduction policy may lead to more than 50 cents being added to each gallon of gas sold in an effort to quell the state’s air emissions.

The Emissions Reduction Program

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) met this past September to make sweeping decisions regarding clean air efforts. The state’s primary environmental regulator, CARB, has decided to make gas increasingly expensive over the next two years.

A wide street with minimal cars and palm trees on either side in California. Small apartment buildings line the street on either side and small mountains are seen in the background

Source: Paul Hanaoka/Unsplash

In addition to increasing water bills in California, gas is another overly expensive bill many people have trouble keeping up with.

Efforts to Improve Air Quality in the State

Environmental groups and state officials have pledged to clean up the poor air quality affecting the residents of California. 

A small gas station with a red roof and two cars parked inside of the store

Source: Mehluli Hikwa/Unsplash

However, the sneaky tax will burden regular citizens, who may be unable to afford gas due to extreme price increases.

California Republicans Are Opposing the Tax Increase

California State Senator Janet Nguyen (R) has been an outspoken opponent of tax hikes in her district.

Two women and two mens stand together inside an office with an American flag and beige curtains. One woman has short blond hair and is wearing a brightly colored top with white jeans, the other woman has dark brown hair and wears a natural fabric jacket with black top and pants. One man is balding and wears glasses and a Hawaiian shirt, the other man wears a grey suit, light blue shirt, and has dark hair

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The noted tax hawk told Fox News Digital that the “secret” tax “would penalize the majority of Californians.” She discussed the difficulties most people will face when attending school, work, or doctor’s appointments.

Nguyen Calling Out Taxes on Taxes

Sen. Nguyen has also brought up the issue of the secrecy of the imposed fee on gas pumps.

Senator Janet Nguyens stands with two other women and three men at a podium. Two men are wearing army camouflage

Source: California National Guard/Wikipedia Commons

She notes that many residents will not know the difference between carbon taxes and regular state taxes imposed on gas. She says the added fees feel like “a tax on a tax” and reprimanded state authorities for imposing a fee without proper transparency.

High Gas Prices Caused by the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Reforms

The report published by CARB focuses on emissions standards set out in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Reforms enacted in 2007.

A close up view of a gas pump with yellow buttons for gas grade selection

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The imposed fees are meant to reduce the number of people buying gas and emitting harmful fumes. However, in the growing state of California, which lacks adequate public transportation, the fee will likely make life increasingly difficult.


Specific Price Increases on Fuel

The report shows that gas prices will likely rise by 47 cents in the next year and reach 52 cents by 2026.

A man's hand holds a gas pump into the gas component of a black car

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Along with standard gas, diesel, boat, and jet fuel will all increase by as much as $1.21 per gallon by the year 2046.


The Air Resources Board Is Focused on Transitioning Residents to Using EVs

Officials who published the report gave a statement regarding the speculations of the price increases.

Photograph of an electric vehicle charging icon on the pavement

Source: Freepik

They claim that the gas price increases are currently “incomplete” but still push the tax savings available to residents who switch to electric-powered vehicles.


Republicans Have Long Fought Against the EV Push

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Biden Administration have been focusing on banning the sale of gas-powered cars in the future in an attempt to halt gas emissions.

A close up of an electric car charging using a charging port

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Republican lawmakers have been outspoken about the unfair methods that the current administration has enacted to force Americans to choose electric vehicles as the only option. 


Aggressive Climate Agenda Backing the Transition

CARB has targeted passenger cars, heavy-duty trucking, freight trains, and harbor boats as the country’s biggest sources of gas-powered emissions.

A large semi truck with a blue front and a white trailer sits in an empty parking lot against a wide range of mountains with a blue sky above

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The harsh regulations have come as the government intends to finalize sweeping emissions standards. The groups will focus on moving away from individuals purchasing gas cars to electric or hybrid options.


California Is Leading the Charge on Phasing Out Gas Cars

California is well known as a leader in new technology and environmentalism. The state has ramped up efforts to avoid using natural gas by offering to buy back gas-powered cars from residents.

A black car sits in a parkade next to a white and a grey car while hooked up to a blue charging port

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Also, the state has mandated that by 2035, 100% of car sales will be electric. The push comes from mandates focusing on a zero-emission future in the state.


Gavin Newsom Is Behind the Sweeping Changes

Two years ago, Gov. Newsom outlined the California Climate Commitment as part of the state’s efforts to clean up the environment and get ahead of global warming.

Governor Gavin Newsom, dressed in a dark blue jacket and white shirt, gestures while speaking at a podium with a sign that reads "BUILDING THE CLEAN."

Source: CAgovernor/X

The plan outlined the mission to phase out reliance on fossil fuels and instead invest in electric-powered cars. The plan’s long-term goals show that the state will cut its dependence on natural gas by 94% by 2045.