Global temperatures are rising at an alarming rate. Lakes are already polluted and oceans are next in line. The second largest cause of climate change (right behind animal abuse) is transportation.
In California and America’s Southwest region, temperatures are rising at alarming rates due to greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the easiest ways to combat transport’s effects on the climate is to transition to electric vehicles that produce zero emissions. Tesla has been attempting to do this for a decade now by manufacturing electric vehicles that are sexier and sleeker than combustion engine competitors. In addition, many other companies such as GM are Nissan are selling 100% electric vehicles to consumers.
Electric vehicles provide tremendous environmental advantages, but also provide economic advantages by having very little fuel and maintenance costs. Electricity is about a sixth as expensive as gasoline for the same number of miles traveled, and oil changes are a nonexistent expense, as electric motors don’t require oil. Basically, you plug in your car like you would your smartphone when you arrive at home, and wake up every morning to a “full tank” for a sixth the price of gassing up. Oh, and don’t forget to change your wiper fluid to clean off the carbon dioxide on your windshield from the vehicle in front of you.
Saving money was possibly the largest incentive to own an electric vehicle. But thanks to SB-1 in California, signed by Democrat Jerry Brown, owning a zero-emissions vehicle just got more expensive for tens of thousands of middle-class commuters. The bill introduces new taxes not only on gasoline (usually purchased by poor people trying to drive to work so that they can afford to feed themselves) but also adds an inflation adjustable 100$ FEE on owners of electric vehicles in order to punish them for not buying gasoline from multinational oil corporations.
Jerry Brown claims that this tax is to repair infrastructure, which is a great cause. Infrastructure creates thousands of jobs, makes driving to work easier, and gives America a more pristine look. What’s crappy is that the method used here is a common one wielded by corporations: Privatising the gains and socializing the losses.
Here’s the breakdown of new taxes for the middle and lower classes:
- $7.3 billion by increasing diesel excise tax 20 cents (currently $0.13) on 1 November 2017.
- $3.5 billion by increasing diesel sales tax to 5.75% on 1 November 2017.
- $24.4 billion by increasing gasoline excise tax 12 cents (currently $0.30) on 1 November 2017.
- $16.3 billion from an annual transportation improvement fee based on a vehicle’s value starting 1 January 2018
- $200 million from an annual $100 Zero Emission Vehicle fee starting 1 July 2020.
- $706 million in General Fund loan repayments.
Note that the total revenue expected from the new taxes is $52 billion, but the EV tax is only expected to bring in 200 million of that. I’m not a math surgeon, but it looks like the EV tax is only 0.3846% of the total revenue gain- insignificant. In other words, the EV tax is just a kick in the balls to environmentally conscious drivers. This is the kind of trash that we can already expect from the Republican Party but is now prevalent in the increasingly corporate Democratic Party.
The most disgusting aspect of this new middle and lower class tax is that infrastructure is mainly damaged by the extremely wealthy- trucking corporations. The giant semi trucks (that everyone already hates) are a huge cause of crumbling roads and potholes. The extreme pressure on asphalt is bound to cause damage, which is fine. That’s physics. What isn’t fine is sending the bill to poor people who don’t actually drive the semi trucks. That’s just more oligarchy and financial irresponsibility on the part of the Democratic and Republican parties.
I’m sure the fact that Jerry Brown has received over $9.8 million from big energy companies has nothing to do with his signing of this bill.