Are gas station poster's claims true or false?

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Uncle Sam posters sponsored by Valero gas stations are warning customers of sharply rising fuel prices from proposed cap and trade laws. The ad campaign popping up around East Texas now raises questions on potential pain at the pump.

Danielle Pritchard rarely mixes politics at the gas pump, but this time it stared her straight in the face with a poster reading:

"If Congress passes cap and trade legislation, Uncle Sam says you will pay the price. Cap and trade will cost you $.77 more per gallon."

News Pritchard sums up in one word: Bad.

"If you did $.77 per gallon I got 12 gallons of gas. That's ridiculous!" said Pritchard.

Her reaction is a positive one for Valero who unveiled the finger pointing posters a year ago.

"That's kind of a good way to catch people's attention," said Valero distributor Randy Robison. "If you ask 99% of people unfortunately nobody is aware of cap and trade at all."

Which is why customers are directed to voices of, a website dedicated to what the other 1% does on Capitol Hill relating to cap and trade, giving companies incentives to cut pollution.

"I call it the 'crap' and trade bill because I know what it's going to do and I know how it's going to hurt," said Congressman Louie Gohmert.

Gohmert says the problems start with fuel cost estimates based on carbon credit speculation.

The $.77 increase the poster refers to would not happen for ten years and is based on research from the American Petroleum Institute. Less biased projected fuel costs by the Energy Information Administration have a gallon of gas in 2020 at $3.62 with no new law. With the best scenario for cap and trade the price jumps to $3.74 - the flip side taking it as high as 4.29. It is a price Gohmert says is more realistic.

"Once those carbon credits start being sold in the market you're going to see speculation zooming up...all it will do is put more cost on the American consumer," he said.

But opposition says less pollution. The proposed Senate bill claims a 17% cut in emissions by 2020. It is a significant cut that gas customers hope does not hit their paycheck as well.

"Gas prices already high enough as it is and if they going up we going to have to be working three jobs a day or something," said customer Corey Obi.

All estimates aside each group's research has gas prices going up over the next decade with or without the legislation. Experts say the key factor separating the best from worst case scenario will be dependent upon the future of carbon offset sales.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.