Guest Blogger

California's Gas Price Hysteria

Filed By Guest Blogger | January 06, 2015 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Big Energy, California, cap and trade, climate change, gas prices, global warming, misinformation

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Micah Escobedo is a writer and aspiring politico. Read more of his work at

scared-lady-1950s.jpgI feel compelled to write this. I'm tired of seeing the oil lobby's propaganda (and influence over our economy) spill onto people's social media timelines via shoddy reporting by journalists after sensationalist stories.

Yes, prices for gas in California have recently gone up. However, slamming the state's climate change law (2004's AB 32, which was also upheld by California voters in 2010) is not only ignorant and wrong, it's narrow-minded.

For one, oil companies making a stir can cause prices to rise... which is exactly what they want to happen so there will be widespread public backlash. But not so fast.

A couple of years ago, Media Matters posted a brilliant smack-down of misinformation from the right-leaning Orange County Register. The paper's claim was commonly-repeated refrain among the American right: Tackling climate change will kill the economy so we shouldn't do anything.

Except that's not correct. At all.

In fact, as the post pointed out, climate change policies not only save consumers money, they boost the economies where they are implemented. I highly recommend a read-through of the post; it's informative and relevant now more than ever. Read it here.

If you aren't able to at this time, here's a quick overview of some of the facts:

  • Cap-and-trade policies are the best market-centered ways to decrease pollution and greenhouse gasses (via California Legislative Analyst's Office, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, International Emissions Trading Association, and the EPA).

  • Consumers will end up saving money (via the California Air Resources Board, a UCLA study, and a Stanford University study).

  • Existing cap-and-trade laws have resulted in economic booms (via the EPA, the California Air Resources Board, and economic consulting firm Analysis Group).

  • Cap-and-trade (prior to the recent Frankenstein-esque rise of the Tea Party) has had bipartisan support across the country.

Don't be swayed by Big Energy's misinformation: cap and trade is the most market-friendly, cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The planet is warming, feedback loops are being tripped, and time is quickly running out to avoid the worst of climate change. Renewable energy is in the midst of a revolution, but first we must rise above partisanship and pseudoscience. The planet depends on us to do so.

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