Consumer Coalition Supports Call for Gas Tax Delay

Posted by Kassy Perry

AB 69 would give consumers time to prepare for major gas price increase, create open and transparent implementation process

Sacramento, Calif. (July 3, 2014) – The Fed Up at the Pump coalition today announced support for the introduction of AB 69 by Assembly Member Henry Perea (D – Fresno), legislation to delay a state regulator planned, yet hidden, 16 to 76 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel.

“We want to thank Assembly Member Perea and his co-authors for listening to us, and to the families and businesses in their districts, these past weeks as we have shared our concerns about how this unfair and hidden gas tax will harm many Californians who are struggling to get by,” said Fed Up at the Pump Spokesman Matt Notley.

“Californians overwhelmingly support AB 32 and the promise of a cleaner, greener California,” said Notley. “But we are also saying, ‘Enough’s enough!’ We just passed Prop 30 to raise taxes for teachers and education. We are tapped out and believe it’s time to discuss a better, less regressive way to implement this landmark law without raiding the wallets of poor and middle class Californians.”

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Californians will pay an estimated 16 to 76 cents more per gallon of gas as a result of a cap and trade regulation known as “Fuels Under the Cap,” created by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Brown Administration without public knowledge or legislative approval.

The Fed Up at the Pump coalition yesterday hosted an event at a gas station in Bakersfield to raise awareness for the upcoming gas price hike. Chaplain Loron Hodge, executive director of the Hope Center, a non-profit organization assisting low-income families in Kern County, urged Governor Jerry Brown to delay the gas tax because of the serious impact it would have on the poor communities he serves.

“The poor and low-income people we help are barely able to purchase food and clothing, let alone pay more for gas,” Hodge said yesterday. “We’ve already seen problems with people who don’t have enough money to buy the gas they need to drive here and pick up food and clothing we are giving away for free. An increase in gas prices causes the most problems for people who have no money to begin with.”

The goal of the Fed Up at the Pump campaign is to educate consumers about the January gas hike and encourage them to send a letter to Governor Brown demanding a delay in the implementation. The coalition is planning a series of Fed Up at the Pump educational events this summer across the Central Valley to inform California motorists and encourage them to make their voices heard.

Assembly member Perea is the lead author of AB 69. Coauthors include: Assembly Members Cheryl Brown (D – San Bernardino), Tom Daly (D- Anaheim), Isadore Hall (D – Compton), Roger Hernández (D – West Covina), Freddie Rodriguez (D – Pomona), and Rudy Salas (D – Bakersfield).

“The broad support for this bill by assembly members across the state is further evidence that a delay in implementing this gas tax is the smart and sensible thing to do,” Notley said. “We will continue to urge Governor Brown to work with the Legislature to delay this unfair gas tax and demand that CARB create an open and transparent process for ongoing AB 32 implementation.”

About Fed Up at the Pump
Fed Up at the Pump is a grassroots coalition of businesses, consumers and advocates who are concerned about the negative impacts that a hidden, unfair gas tax will have on California.
The coalition’s goal is to halt a state-mandated gas tax – created by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) “Fuels Under the Cap” regulations – before it goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. This gas tax will disproportionately affect lower-income Californians and there is no guarantee money generated will go to programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The coalition is spearheaded by members of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA), a group of independent fuel conveyers in California. CIOMA members provide a strong backbone to the state’s economy but are often blamed for oil industry gas price hikes. The coalition aims to educate consumers about the source of the gas price increase they will experience in January, 2015, a campaign CIOMA believes that CARB should be conducting so Californians can plan for the upcoming gas tax, especially low income workers in the Central Valley.
More information can be found at www.fedupatthepump.org