New California taxes Diesel fuel harder than Gasoline

Drivers normally catch a bit of a break in November  when gas stations switch over to winter blends, which usually run about 12 cents a gallon less than summer-blended fuel.  That is due to the fact that refineries no longer are required to use a high Alcohol content blended in with the refined petroleum product we all call "gasoline" as an "Oxygenate"

But this year, on November 1, 2017 in California the switch was cleverly disguised to coincide with the rollout of a state law to increase the price of gasoline by 12 cents a gallon.

That’s the same day the gas tax increase — known as Senate Bill 1, California's Road Repair and Accountability Act — went into effect.

“I don’t know if it was calculated this way but it was smart that they did it in the fall when the price is usually lower, as compared to the summer,” said Jeffrey Spring, spokesman for the Auto Club. “It’s probably more palatable that way.”  "Really Jeffery" - are you that slow-brained ??

Related: How much you’ll REALLY pay for gasoline tax in California

The Board of Equalization, the agency that oversees tax and fee collection in the state, on Wednesday will adjust the excise tax on gasoline based on projections on consumption and gas prices to 41.7 cents per gallon.  Previously it was 18.5 cents for Federal taxes and 30 cents for State and Local taxes a total of 48.5 cents per gallon - so 41.7 cents tax is approximately the 12 cents increase making the cost of fuel taxes now 60.2 cents per gallon.

But Spring said that does not mean every gas station in California will instantly increase their prices by 12 cents first thing Wednesday morning.

The reality is - they did - overnight, and many took advantage of the opportunithy to raise the price MORE than the tax required.

In an effort to reduce air pollution, many states require refineries to produce summer-blend fuels that use different fuel additives. California uses its own unique blend. Summer blends are more expensive because of the oxygenates required in the fuel and because refineries have to briefly shut down before processing it.  "Oxygenates" means basically "Alcohol", and for anyone tha drives a "Flex-fuel" vehicle and has used "E85" - even though it is less expensive, it also gets terrible fuel mileage becasue of the lower BTU per gallon energy content of the fuel.

For almost three years, drivers have received a break at the pump as gasoline prices have stayed relatively low, thanks to a dramatic drop in crude oil prices that started at the end of 2014.

According to AAA, the average price for regular gasoline in California is $3.03 a gallon, one cent less than the average in San Diego.

That’s a far cry from October 2012, when San Diegans paid an average of $4.72 a gallon, the highest ever recorded in the county by AAA.

The national average for Gas is about $2.3 per gallon at this writing.  See

The 12-cent rise will mark the first iteration of Senate Bill 1. Its full effect will be felt by July 2019 when the total amount in excise taxes will go up to 47.3 cents a gallon.  that will coincide with the July 4th driving "season" when people actually "expect fuel to go up for the Holiday driving - but it just will not come back down

Diesel drivers got hit even harder. The state’s diesel excise tax will go up 20 cents a gallon and the diesel sales tax will see a 5.75 percent increase.  That comes down to about 30 cents per gallon and the reason is to discourage purchase of diesel powered vehicles, which have traditionally enjoyed lower cost fuel over Gasoline - which is simpler to produce because it is basically - low-regulated petroleum distillate "leftovers" ranging from what people know of as mineral spirits to jet fuel.  the problem is it is rated in Cetane - not Octane and there is no convenient way to measure that by the "weights and measures" inspectors who spot frequent gas stations to check that they are selling actually "Regular" Mid-Range" and "Premium" fuel that can be measured easily.  so no one checks Diesel fuel and it can be crap or jet fuel and since the way a Diesel engine runs is not a "performance expecting" engine, most drivers of Diesel vehicles think poor performance is everything else but the fuel.  truly it CAN be - cool intake air makes the engine perform better, and hot days make it perform poorer, and there are lots of other factors also.  The point is the drivers are not subject to notice or blame the fuel.  A "smart" diesel driver owns a Diesel Hydrometer and can tell crappy diesel and uses both a fuel additive for improvements in lubricity and to raises Cetane - which really lowers the flash point - or "auto ignition" temperature and has a quieter smoother running diesel.

the truth is most diesel driver do not - and they have nastier burring engines and California's Air Resources Board (CARB) hates diesels.  There is NOTHING that can be done to Diesel fuel from the refinery that will make it burn cleaner - that any Diesel cannot tell results  poorer performance.  there is an inverse relationship to Cetane and BTU oer gallon.  for instance Number 1 Diesel - has higher Cetane - but lower BTU per gallon - or "power"

Vehicle registration fees will also go up between $25 to $175 per year, depending on the value of the car. The tax also establishes a $100 annual registration fee for zero-emission vehicles, starting in July 2020.

Signed into law in April, Senate Bill 1 has been controversial.

Supporters say it’s needed to upgrade the state’s transportation infrastructure. Analysis of the bill said rough roads result in each driver in California spending about $700 a year in extra vehicle repairs.  the reality is California builds ridiculous roads - and the infamous rain troughs that cross intersections are what cause lots of damaged tires and shocks  and springs - and even transmissions and radiators  that strike the road when one comes upon an unexpected trough across the road too fast and - BAM - never had a chance to slow down or even knew it was there.

This author personally broke two front springs, and tried to help a woman who had hit a bump so hard it broken open the pan on her transmission on a Chevy Corsica that by the time she knew it was leaking fluid - the car stopped moving and the forward clutches were burned up.  In essence she had to get the transmission rebuilt.  this author would bet they are NOT going to remove those vehicle damaging troughs - and it seems the roads in California cannot transition to bridge smoothly anywhere.  

Republican critics of SB1 say revenue from previous gas tax increases have been diverted to other spending programs. Democrats say measures have been put in place to prevent misuse of the money.

Prior to the passage of the gas tax increase, California had the seventh-highest taxes and fees on gasoline in the nation.

At 59.3 cents per gallon, Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the nation, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation.

But by 2019, it’s estimated that California will be just one cent behind Pennsylvania, provided that the gas taxes in other states remain the same.

Although they are not technically included in the gas tax, two other fees are imposed in California — the Low Carbon Fuel Standard that adds 3.7 cents per gallon of gasoline and the fee supporting the state's cap-and-trade program on carbon emissions that comes to 11.4 cents a gallon.

State officials point out the Board of Equalization will adjust the excise tax rate on gasoline one more time, in fiscal year 2018-2019. But tax and fee collection in the state, effective July 1, 2017, belong to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. The only taxes the Board of Equalization are now involved with are property, insurance and alcohol.

How do you fight back??  You bi-fuel with on the fly made Hydrogen reducing fuel cost 





There is quite a bit of whoopla about the Chevy Volt. It is a simple concept as OLD as the modern train locomotive. GM once made those too.

You still use the same amount of energy to propel an object of a given weight down a level surface.  You trade HP derived from liquid fuel to HP derived from KiloWatt hours.  See the table

The Volt has a 45 Kw genset (engine powered generator) in it - which is by no means "tiny", and it can generate enough electricity on the fly to power the vehicle directly - and your home too - so the Chevy Volt is not so much an "electric car" as it is an "electrically propelled automobile" - it has an engine which is a genset providing also power to turn the electric motors to turn the wheels - not solely batteries.

The Volt has a computer control that attempts to keep the batteries charged using the genset - just like the alternator circuit in the car does today. What is revolutionary about the Volt is that GM has tried to address and use longer life and higher amperage capacity battery technology that is just a bit lighter than the common lead acid battery we all know so well.

But make no mistake - batteries still have limits on how much electricity they can store and discharge.

We are not changing the laws of physics - just squeezing a bit more efficiency for the mechanical implementation of a battery product. HOWEVER, at the core you are STILL at the mercy of plain old physics of the Earth - it takes so much energy (calories, joules, Kwh, BTU etc) to propel a 3,000 pound item down a level road - given no wind or drag resistance.

This is a function of what we call "gravity" - which causes friction looses no matter what and will tend to cause the object to be at rest - or come to a rest - that is STOP. You cannot "spin" how physics works, nor change it using other words in a "blog" that you want to use to understand something - which if you are using other words to describe - you truly do not understand anyway.

I find it so FUNNY, when a "journalist" tries to write a technical article and steps right into the stew of not knowing what the science is he is trying to say. The NY Times allowed one of their journalists to author an article about the Volt after he was allowed to drive one for a weekend. David Pogue. His article is here => - along with all the comments by equally dizzied people who do not understand what the Chevy Volt really is.

If the COSTS of energy are not contained and addressed in any analysis of the vehicle, you are still paying for energy - and it could be MORE hidden in a mislabel of what you have got. Now that Chevy Volt recharges with a 240 volt line for 6 to 8 hours at 15 amps - OR a 120 volt line for TWICE that time. If you do the math - you are eating up a huge amount of electricity traded for a "short" tank of gas only good for 40 miles.

My bet is to operate it will cost you MORE wherever you live - unless you have a FREE electricity source. Calculate your Kwh charge from the electric utility - against 240 volts continuous at 15 amps for 8 hours and see what you get. It will be way more than $3.00 for a gallon of gas in a good mileage 40 MPG car under even the best circumstances at highway travel actually getting 40 miles per gallon.

ALSO, now that Chevy Volt has a 45 Kw genset in it - and unlike a conventional internal combustion engine mechanically propelled vehicle; (hybrid or straight mechanical transmission drive) it can make PLENTY of electricity to power a hydrogen generator to self fuel itself AND keep batteries charged and power the vehicle under heavy loads.

Think of it as one LARGE alternator powering electric motors to the wheels - because that is EXACTLY what the Chevy Volt is. Just like a train locomotive. Miles per gallon mean nothing - and never did - it was only a measure of engine consumption for distance traveled; NOT energy actually consumed in traveling.

With the Chevy Volt, miles per gallon will not have a valid meaning because you start out cheating with stored energy - but you STILL bought that energy elsewhere - and guess what - at a higher rate probably. Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive; but any crappy liquid fuel gives you less power and thus less capability to travel farther distances.

Alcohol of any type (methanol, ethanol or other) will get less mileage than true 100 octane gasoline type fuel, because the energy stored in the same amount of alcohol based fuel is less. Also the true octane rating of the Alcohol would matter - what we know commonly as "proof". It all burns - but with how much "umph" per stroke is the question.

Even low BTU diesel fuel gets a trucker lower MPG. So what actually is the Chevy Volt? It is the first step towards being able to power a vehicle on the fly from Hydrogen by a mass produced vehicle. It can make enough electricity to finally do so. Hydrogen is 130 Octane - and is about four times as powerful as Gasoline - so go figure on that for while.

You can make it from any water based liquid, depending the efficiency of the Hydrogen Generator, and you can get a water based liquid everyday that is great electrolyte for a hydrogen generator right there from your own body. Give it some thought. This what we do TODAY. Stay tuned