By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
As the chart shows, you are paying a lot more at the gas pump and much of this is because of Oregon’s hidden gas tax. Yet this hidden gas tax does not even go towards fixing our roads like the regular Oregon gas tax.
National gas prices have been steadily increasing, notably during winter months when they usually see a drop. California and Oregon gas prices stand out. But an even closer look seems to show a widening gap in anticipation of both states’ “Clean Fuels” programs. That gap has yet to correct itself.
In the 2015 Legislature, SB 324 (Permanent Clean Fuels) passed the Oregon Senate and House on a mostly party line vote. It was quickly signed by Gov. Kate Brown.
The Clean Fuels Program mimicked California and forced higher ethanol content in gasoline, or the purchasing of “environmental credits” by fuel companies. The credit market is regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality. By forcing fuel companies to purchase these credits it becomes a tax on gas, but unlike the real gas tax, which funds our roads, this gas tax revenue goes towards rewarding certain private energy companies. Taxpayers pay the cost but do not reap the benefit.
2025 marks the year for required 10% carbon reduction under the Clean Fuels Program in Oregon. The current green line on graph is a strong indicator of what’s in store for Oregonians at the pump by that year. California’s program began, effectively, three years prior to Oregon’s.