Reality Check

Reality Check

Vets the truthfulness of claims and measures the efficacy of public policy

California Gas Prices Won't Skyrocket Next Year Because of State Cap-and-Trade Law

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    Starting next year, California's greenhouse gas reduction law will force fuel distributors into the same cap-and-trade marketplace as utilities and major manufacturers.

    This has promoted the oil and gas lobby to claim that gas prices could skyrocket by as much as 76 cents per gallon for California drivers.

    Is this an alarmist assertion or one backed by well-founded research and projections? It turns out, it falls more into the alarmist category.

    NBC Bay Area spoke to Professor Mark Thurber, an energy policy expert at Stanford University, who explained that a 76-cent increase is highly improbable, and if it did look like prices might reach that level, lawmakers would probably step in and adjust the law.

    Thurber went on to say that gas prices will increase, but the “the most likely scenario is somewhere around 10 cents per gallon of gasoline.”

    Other projections have pegged the likely increase at between 10-12 cents per gallon as well.