Jay Inslee is scheduled to announce the next step tomorrow in his ongoing ego trip to battle global warming, most likely via a fuel mandate. Ahead of Inslee’s big reveal, the Oregonian reminded its readers to beware of Democrat governors who claim taxpayers will save money or that jobs will be created as a result of a fuel mandate.
Oregon’s Democrat governor, controversy-riddled John Kitzhaber, wants his constituents to believe that his fuel mandate plan would “save Oregonian businesses and citizens up to $1.6 billion in fuel costs … over the next 10 years.” The Oregonian cries foul,
Taxpayers who’ve just bought a gasoline-powered car could be forgiven for imagining a future in which they drive their old-school vehicle into a gas station and fill up with fuel made both cheaper and, from a carbon-footprint standpoint, cleaner through the magic of a state mandate. And perhaps encouraging Oregonians to indulge in such fantasies is the governor’s intent. Problem is, it’s nonsense. The low-carbon fuel standard will cost Oregonians money, potentially a lot of it.
Due to various costs associated with fuel mandates, including a burden of compliance placed on importers, fuel prices will go up. The Oregonian points out that the “standard is a way of both forcing consumers to buy higher-priced ‘clean’ fuels and subsidizing those who produce them” creates “a global-warming gas tax.”
The Oregonian goes on to call Kitzhaber’s $1.6 billion fuel-savings claim “nothing more than sucker bait.” Here’s why,
“[The $1.6 billion figure] comes from a January 2011 report prepared for the state by Maryland-based consultant Jack Faucett Associates. The firm’s economists imagined a number of compliance scenarios…
One of the compliance scenarios did, in fact, estimate potentially significant fuel savings – $1.6 billion over a period of roughly a decade. This is the scenario from which Kitzhaber and others plucked the number used in their oft-repeated sales pitch. We’ll be charitable and call it misleading, though it might be more accurate to describe it as a lie by omission.
What the claim omits is the Faucett report’s assumption that Oregonians will save money on fuel by buying different types of cars, primarily electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids…
However, the assumed prices of electric cars and plug-in hybrids are much higher than those for gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, which means Oregonians in this scenario would have to spend a whole lot more on cars and trucks to save money on fuel. How much more? Coincidentally, $1.6 billion, negating the fuel savings about which Kitzhaber and others brag so misleadingly.
When Inslee announces his fuel mandate scheme, he will undoubtedly use a similar “misleading” strategy. He will announce that his fuel mandate will pay for education and transportation, all while creating jobs. Those claims, as Shift has reported, are more than just a little misleading— to put it nicely. Inslee’s fuel mandate will raise the cost of energy with little to nothing in return, at the cost of 11,000 jobs according to one study.
Let’s take heed of the Oregonian’s warning and beware of Democrat governors who make misleading fuel mandate promises.