Duluth News Tribune: Walz’s push for a California fuel standard promises gas station inflation

Minnesotans are paying the highest prices at the pump since 2013. According to AAA, the average price of gasoline in our state is above $4 per gallon, and diesel prices are even worse at $5.32 per gallon.

Unfortunately, Gov. Tim Walz and other liberal lawmakers are seeking to enact new regulations from California that could increase the pain Minnesotans are feeling at the pump by at least 20 to 53 cents per gallon — while resulting in zero measurable environmental benefit.

The California fuel standard, or CFS, that Gov. Walz is seeking to impose would create a government mandate to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from the fuel sector by 20% by 2035, with the mandate becoming more stringent and more expensive every year.

While some advocates of the CFS may argue it will not increase fuel prices, the governments of California and Oregon freely admit the policy has increased the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel in their states.

Research from Stillwater Associates determined the CFS would cause the cost of gasoline in Minnesota to increase by 20 cents per gallon in the near term and up to 54 cents per gallon and cause diesel fuel prices to increase by 20 to 53 cents per gallon by 2035. This means the CFS would force the average Minnesota household to spend an additional $210 to $570 per year, every single year, at the pump.

Additionally, rising fuel costs increase the price of everything else, including groceries, clothing, and anything else transported by truck. This gas station inflation hurts rural families and single-parent households the most because they already spend a higher portion of their budgets on energy and food costs than more-affluent and urban households.

Despite the high cost of the CFS, not a single penny of these additional costs would be used to improve or maintain our roads and bridges. Instead, the extra expense would be used to subsidize electric vehicles, charging stations for electric vehicles, and substitutes for gasoline and diesel fuel.

Proponents of the CFS have argued it is needed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, but this regulation would have zero measurable impact on future global temperatures. The Center of the American Experiment calculated that these regulations would only decrease future global temperatures by 0.0002 degrees celsius by 2100, an amount so small it is impossible to measure with even the most sophisticated scientific equipment.

Given the large costs and immeasurably small benefits of this policy, it is unsurprising that a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources survey found overwhelming opposition to the Walz administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from the transportation sector by 30% by 2025 and 80% by 2050. In fact, 72% of respondents said these policies go too far.

Minnesotans deserve a clear explanation of the costs and benefits of the proposed California fuel standard so they know whether they are receiving value for paying higher prices at the pump. This would entail a thorough explanation of how the program would increase costs for Minnesota families by $210 to $568 per year in return for reducing future global temperatures by 0.0002 degrees celsius by 2100.

In summary, this policy is all pain and no gain for Minnesota.

Visit nogasstationinflation.com to read the Center of the American Experiment’s report, “Gas Station Inflation: How The Walz Administration’s ‘Clean Fuel Standard’ Would Increase Pain at the Pump,” and tell your elected officials that the California fuel standard is a bad idea.

Isaac Orr is a policy fellow specializing in energy and environmental policy at the Center of the American Experiment (americanexperiment.org), a conservative public-policy think tank based in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter and TRUTH Social @thefrackingguy.

The following article was written by Isaac Orr, and it originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on May 19, 2022.