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Rising gasoline and lowered expectations

Dear neighbors,

The price of gasoline is dominating conversations today and will definitely play out in the primary election just around the corner.

While many point to the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict as the sole cause of our high gas prices, the sentiment is actually incorrect as gas and oil production was already decreasing far before the conflict. In 2020, the amount of active US oil rigs reached an all time low with the pandemic and although since then they have been steadily increasing we are not even at the same level as the active oil rigs in 2019.

Over $30billion since 2015 in Mystery Gasoline Surcharge: Californians have contributed billions of dollars annually in fees and no one know where that money is going. Is this the “Office Space” fraction of pennies algorithm at work. We have to stop it. $4 billion. per year in 2021 that we cannot account for. There is a differential. The California Attorney General has to get to the bottom of this.

California's proposal to announce a $400 rebate proposal for every taxpayer in the state amid increasing gas prices is only a start. But the fees and taxes are a bit much.

Americans are likely to face higher prices on everything from gasoline to groceries well into next year — threatening to turn a simmering economic issue into a major political one.

The danger here is: rising natural gas prices could raise electricity and home heating bills. The increasing costs for transportation, power and heat would all contribute to inflation, which is already at its highest rate in 40 years in the U.S. The inflation will continue to rise over the course of this year. Some estimate that price per gallon may rise to $10/gallon by summer and that will be disastrous for our economy. We need to stem the tide NOW!

Here is my view in a short 5-minute video

My thoughts on how to address inflation and rising gasoline prices

  • Washington needs to organize a task force and put them in charge. This task force would not include cabinet members, but also industry leaders. This is the time for teaming and brainstorming. This is the time to take prudent, urgent action.
  • The Federal government should purchase basic necessities like food and fuel during dips in prices and place them into storage. They should be realized during uptick in prices - that would stabilize the price of these products during crises. Adding new agricultural and transportation workers to our economy will help address the gap in supply of these critical products.
  • We should also consider new regulations such as the Bipartisan Innovation Act that would increase the semiconductor supply - a critical foundation for our digital economy.
  • Remove the gasoline fees and taxes: This is a no brainer.
  • Time for bipartisanship: Democrats and Republicans need to come together. Biden is scheduling visits to OPEC countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with the goal of improving relations on a broader level in order to secure exports from these nations for petroleum. We haven’t seen any iota of success here so far. Is this the time for the U.S to grab market share by rejuvenating our oil production? All options should be open for a bipartisanship consideration. The Republicans generally want to emphasize domestic oil production to increase the supply of conventional fossil fuels, and the standard Democratic prescription has been alternative energy and so forth on so on. And, you know, both have their plusses and minuses but neither one is any kind of short-term fix to a particular spike in gasoline prices. Which brings me to...
  • A plan to help NOW and …A plan for the future: We have to figure out ways right now to drop the gasoline price - it is affecting our working families. Our hard working families are spending $150 on gas to drive from distant cities into Silicon Valley where the jobs are. We need cash back to the American people and the working families. Explore every option under the sun - as our people need help. The Russian sanctions should continue. We should also continue with the clean energy initiatives. And….

And finally, let us NOT gut California's solar program if we are serious about clean Energy. We should explore mass transportation options now for every urban economy. For example - VTA is pondering the future of its light rail system. such as VTA’s low ridership numbers. Last year, the agency projected expenses to exceed revenues by $6.9 million in fiscal year 2022, and that gap is expected to grow over the next decade to reach $47.5 million by 2031. VTA has the highest operating cost per revenue car hour in the nation. Time to shut down such waste in our public sector and plan for the future. We absolutely need to come up with a plan for the next decade that is designed on the basis of net zero greenhouse gas fast cutting-edge transportation systems and the last-mile autonomous cars. This is the time to make innovative decisions for the future of our country and design supply chain systems that will stand the test of time, including cyberattacks and cyberthreats.

Other Priorities