How to Drop Gasoline Prices by 30 cents a Gallon for 15 Million Working Families in California Without Really Trying
An easy experiment proves it. Families are now being robbed of more money at the gas pump each year than they can save for their children's education.
Putting this 4 billion dollars a year back into the state economy will generate enough taxes to pay much of the state debt.
The 30 billion dollar robbery of California motorists through excessive gas prices over the last eight years can be stopped immediately. There is an easy, no-risk experiment that will prove this. Simply allow California motorists to use a small amount of the perfectly good federal reformulated gasoline (FRG) that the rest of the nation is using. It meets all federal clean air standards. It is available from refineries all over the country -- and right here in California. Gas prices in California will drop overnight to the national average. California refineries will soon be selling the special California reformulated gasoline (CRG) at the national average price for FRG gasoline. Ironically, California refineries make millions of gallons of FRG gasoline every day and ship it out of the state. Only California motorists are not allowed to use the FRG gasoline while the oil companies often claim shortages of CRG gasoline; and keep the prices high in California.
The Governor and responsible legislators can be instant heroes to 15 million working families in California who are now paying 50 cents a gallon more for gasoline than the rest of the country (4 billion dollars a year). This money is not going into the California economy. It is not going into the state treasury. It is going to the worldwide stockholders of the oil companies that were given a state-sponsored monopoly in California by Cal EPA bureaucrats. These are the ones who poisoned the California environment with MTBE in order to look like environmental saviors (many of them have since gone to work as high-paid consultants for the oil companies they enriched).
There is no reason in the world why our leaders in Sacramento should not at least try this no-risk experiment. If they refuse, it can only be assumed that they have more concern for excessive oil company profits than concern for the struggling families in California. This solution costs nothing. There is no degradation of the environment of the kind that Cal EPA and CARB bureaucrats created by putting the toxic MTBE in their so-called California reformulated gasoline. California working families are being asked to make great sacrifices to solve the state budget crisis. The governor and the Legislature cannot deny them some relief from this gas price obscenity.
Over the last 25 years on KGO Radio, I have spent a great deal of time exposing scientific frauds and bureaucratic stupidity. None has been more insulting and costly to the working public than the artificially escalated price of gasoline in California. Californians know that they have been paying 20 to 40 cents a gallon more than the national average in the rest of the U.S. With record high gas prices around the country, Californians are paying as much as 50 cents a gallon more in many places. This is the equivalent of 4 billion dollars a year taken out of California -- enough to pay the state debt in a few years. This calculated robbery of California's working families and the California economy must be stopped. There is an easy and quick way to stop this. But first, you must understand who caused the problem and why they steadfastly oppose any changes today that will relieve this horrible and senseless assault on California motorists and working families. Then you should demand that the California Legislature and our new governor try the easy experiment described herein.
Almost ten years ago, bureaucrats in the Cal EPA, with full approval of the state legislature, gave the oil companies a monopoly in California by ordering that California motorists can use only a special concoction of gasoline called California reformulated gasoline (CRG). They knew that CRG gas would only be made by California refineries (no other state was so stupid that they would require it). Since then, the CRG gas and the MTBE poison in it have been shown to be a fraud in many ways. But immediately, gas prices in California jumped by 30 cents a gallon above the national average and they have stayed high ever since. Californians have paid 30 billion dollars more than others in the nation since 1996 for gasoline that proved to be a major pollutant, not a blessing for the environment as advertised. Absolutely stupid.
Excessive gas prices in California are now taking even more XXXX as much as 4 billion dollars a year out of the pockets of Californians. It is an easy calculation. Take at least 30 million gallons of gasoline used in California each day. Multiply by 40 cents a gallon and you get 12 million dollars per day. Multiply by 365 days per year and you get 4,380 million or 4.38 billion dollars per year. This money is not going into the California economy. It is not going into the state treasury. It is going to the worldwide stockholders of the oil companies that were given a state-sponsored monopoly in California.
This robbery of California motorists can be stopped immediately by allowing California motorists to use a small amount of the perfectly good, federally approved, federal reformulated gasoline (FRG) that the rest of the nation is using. During normal times, there is an abundance of FRG available from suppliers all over the world. Allowing use of some FRG in California will break the monopoly that the oil companies have in California and bring gas prices in California down to the national average overnight. With full approval of the California EPA and the indifference of the California Legislature, oil companies have been allowed to keep the supply of CRG gasoline low so that they could justify artificially high gas prices in California. What is obscene is that these same California refineries are making millions of gallons of regular reformulated gasoline (FRG) every day and shipping it to other states. They could make more CRG for California motorists if they wanted to by simply making less FRG for others. But why should they do that when they can make billions more in easy profits by keeping the supply of CRG gas low and prices high in California? XXXXX with the full approval of your elected representatives and bureaucrats in Sacramento.
What You Must Tell Your Legislators and the Governor (in your own words):
California fuel distributors and service stations must be allowed, by law or executive order, to buy and dispense some perfectly good FRG gasoline, which can be purchased from many refineries from within California and elsewhere. FRG gas purchases could be limited to, say, 20 percent of any wholesaler's average sales of gasoline. Higher than national average gas prices in California will disappear overnight. California refineries will soon be selling CRG at the same price as FRG without a whimper. (The oil companies already lower their prices for CRG gas wherever there is competition.) The irony is that just the threat of allowing California motorists to use some FRG gas will keep gas prices down to competitive levels. Most likely, very little FRG gas will actually be used in California. Hence, even the so-called environmentalist organizations and Cal EPA bureaucrats cannot cry that their unproven 'clean air' plans for California have been subverted by diluting their CRG gas concoction with a little FRG gas that meets all federal standards. Incidentally, FRG gas mixes with CRG gas as harmlessly as two different national brands of gasoline being pumped into the same car tank.
You must demand that the Legislature and the Governor at least try this solution. It is simply stupid not to try something that is so harmless that you cannot even measure any differences in air quality because of a small change in the composition of gasoline that might be used for a short time by California motorists. Only the oil companies and the Cal EPA and CARB bureaucrats who got us into this absurdity will get their noses out of joint. And, as I said, suddenly there will be an abundant supply of CRG gas in California. The oil companies in California are not going to give up the most lucrative gas market in the country. The California refiners know that other gasoline suppliers from around the country and the world will have tanker ships full of FRG gas anchored in every California port if supplies of CRG gas are kept short in the future. What is there to lose by giving California oil companies a little competition?
The California Legislature approved the gas price fraud eight years ago. Your legislators today are allowing it to continue. They can stop it tomorrow. If they don't, you must call on the governor to do it -- or take the issue directly to the voters in the form of an initiative on the ballot.
Expected Bureaucratic Backlash:
The bureaucrats in the Cal EPA and CARB will offer every dumb excuse for why Californians can not be allowed to use even a little of the perfectly good FRG gasoline. They and their so-called environmental supporters have always cried that any relaxation of the requirement for CRG gasoline will be a blow against the environment. All of their arguments are nothing more than covering their own mistakes. They are the ones who massively polluted all of California with their CRG gas and MTBE concoction.
The oil companies will try to intimidate Sacramento by claiming that any change will lead to higher prices and greater shortages. In the past, they have even claimed that CRG and FRG gasoline cannot be mixed. Sheer nonsense. We don't have to rely on the refineries to mix the gasoline. Wholesalers and service stations can buy FRG gasoline wherever they want and put it in the same storage tanks that hold CRG gasoline. (Of course, Cal EPA and CARB will cry that they cannot measure how much FRG gas the sneaky service stations are buying. Then you will see the only reason these bungling bureaucrats and environmental frauds are on the public payroll -- that is regulate the sinful motorists who have to go to work every day to pay the taxes that pay the salaries of the bureaucrats who don't trust them)
Past Scientific Fraud at Cal EPA/CARB
Many scientists believe that FRG gas is every bit as clean burning as CRG gas because FRG gas has a much smaller quantity of so-called oxygenates such as MTBE and ethanol. Large amounts of these additives in CRG gas decrease the amount of energy per gallon of fuel so that more gallons of fuel must be burned to travel the same distance. Sort of stupid. Scientists reported in scientific journals long ago that so-called oxygenates such as MTBE and ethanol are not cost effective in producing clearer air compared to better reformulations of pure gasoline (see Science, July 3, 1993, page 37). But the bureaucrats in the California EPA in 1996 simply ignored these scientific reports and pursued their dumb campaign to look like smart environmentalists and force an unproven concoction of gasoline on California motorists.
Many now call the California EPA the California "Environmental Pollution Agency." Cal EPA forced Californians to pay for hundreds of millions of gallons of the toxic MTBE additive in their CRG gasoline. It turned out to be the biggest deliberate, chemical pollution of the environment in history -- and widely reported around the world.
It must be kept in mind that the Cal EPA/CARB bureaucrats did the same thing ten years ago when they ordered a drastic change in the formula for diesel fuel used in California. They did not test their new CARB diesel fuel formula that seemed so smart according to their "scientific consultants" whose only credentials were that they had stamped themselves on the forehead with an ink stamp that proclaimed then to be "environmentalists." The result was that thousands of diesel vehicles in California were seriously damaged before the CARB diesel formula was modified to remove its dangerous characteristics --- characteristics that had never been tested before it was mandated. (The author warned Cal EPA/CARB staff that their new diesel formula would damage engines before they forced it on the public. They refused to listen. (Michael Harris reported this in a San Francisco Chronicle Editorial.)
California taxpayers paid out over twenty millions dollars for the damage done to private diesel vehicles and trucks in the early nineties. But the CARB bureaucrats who caused this stayed on the public payroll in the Cal EPA and picked up their usual annual salary increases for warming the swivel chairs that cradle their brains. Then they forced their next environmental fantasy and insult on California motorists: California reformulated gasoline with 12% of the super-pollutant MTBE additive.
Can someone please post a cliff note?
This robbery of California motorists can be stopped immediately by allowing California motorists to use a small amount of the perfectly good, federally approved, federal reformulated gasoline (FRG) that the rest of the nation is using.
I think that is the crux of the article.....