Here’s How State Lawmakers Want to Help Californians Facing High Gas Prices

March 2022

Cal Matters

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director, and James Bushnell, Faculty Affiliate, discuss public policy and high gas prices in the Cal Matters article.

“‘We need gasoline prices to reflect the real costs to society,’ said Borenstein, referring to the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, as well as costs of cars hitting other cars, bikers, or pedestrians.”

“Gas tax breaks ‘come up every time there’s some kind of oil shock,’ said Bushnell. ‘And that’s the absolute worst time to cut these taxes if the goal is to relieve customer prices.’ Gas sellers are less likely to pass all of the savings on to customers when the supply of gas is constrained. In other words, while the war is affecting the gas supply, a gas tax cut could mean more profits for gas sellers, and less of a price reduction.”

Read more on gas taxes on KPCC(opens in a new tab)The Mercury News(opens in a new tab)NBC Bay Area(opens in a new tab)East Bay Times(opens in a new tab)CBS SF(opens in a new tab), the Los Angeles Times Article 1(opens in a new tab), the Los Angeles Times Article 2(opens in a new tab)SF Gate Article 1(opens in a new tab)SF Gate Article 2(opens in a new tab)SF Gate Article 3,(opens in a new tab) the Daily Tax Report(opens in a new tab), the San Francisco Chronicle(opens in a new tab)ABC7(opens in a new tab)LAist(opens in a new tab)LA Daily News(opens in a new tab)KQED(opens in a new tab)The Sacramento Bee(opens in a new tab)Berkeley News(opens in a new tab)Governing(opens in a new tab)NPR(opens in a new tab)Marketplace(opens in a new tab), and The Modesto Bee(opens in a new tab)