Today’s San Francisco Chronicle blares “S.F. on Verge of $4-Per-Gallon Gas” and goes on to report: “Sometime in the coming week, San Francisco is expected to become America’s first major city to pay an average of $4 for a gallon of regular gas.” No where in the article is it mentioned why San Francisco of all cities should have the nation’s highest gas prices. But we do get this gem from Bill Buehlman, who lives in San Francisco and works for the city’s Homeless Outreach Team: “I look at it as a gift, a blessing. The profiteers are giving us the opportunity to make a decision to do something better for our planet, for our community.”
Such is the understanding on the interchange of supply, demand, and regulation in arguably the nation’s most liberal city. If San Francisco has gas prices higher than anyplace else in the country it must be because “profiteers” want it that way. Never mind the fact that California hasn’t built a new refinery in almost 40 years. The economic ignorance behind this headline from the liberal blog California Progress Report (CPR) borders on parody: “As Refinery Profits in California Soar and Gas Prices Rise, Will Someone Do Something About it in Sacramento?” If you read the post you’ll see that CPR never even considers that the proper market response to rising profits from oil refineries would be to build more of them to meet demand. But, of course, environmental laws in California make such new construction impossible. If CPR really wanted to lower gas prices the “something” in Sacramento to be done would be to change the laws so more refineries could be built. But no, CPR is infected with the same fuzzy liberal thinking as Buehlman above: they want Sacramento to investigate market manipulation by “Big Oil.”
But don’t worry Californians, the situation is about to get even worse! The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is about to issue regulations that will impose fees for carbon use. And guess which businesses will be paying up to 90% of the $1.1 million in annual fees: “Refineries, power plants and cement plants.”
We’re gonna go ahead and guarantee right now that when the San Francisco Chronicle does their inevitable “S.F. on Verge of $5-Per-Gallon Gas” story next year, no one will bother to point out the new carbon taxes role in the high prices either.