My family was set to see the snow in the local mountains today, until we discovered thousands of fellow Californians decided they were going to check out this novelty as well.

Interstate 8 east ground to a halt, the mountain town of Julian became completely gridlocked in traffic — and access to several mountain recreation areas was closed off at mid-afternoon Thursday — as thousands of San Diegans went to play in the snow.

The quaint town of Julian was packed Thursday as residents tried to park to find snow, hot pie or other attractions.

“It’s busy, but not too crazy,” said Pistols & Petticoats owner Debbie Mushet. “It’s mainly the restaurants and pie shops that are busy.”

That was confirmed by employee Monique Quijano at Julian Pie Company. “The line is all the way down the street and probably 45 minutes to an hour,” Quijano said.

It may be hard for some of you to believe, but the amount of snow was such a rarity that today’s traffic to see it backed up for miles:

This KPBS News video captures Californians’ excitement over this winter storm.

As of today, there will be an extra price for us to pay to enjoy such outings. In 2006, after being bombarded with “man-made global warming” hysteria, our state legislators approved the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (i.e., AB32) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources throughout the state and work via a “cap and trade” system. It was then signed into law by “conservative” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to much fanfare.

Sacramento’s chickens are now coming home to roost:

As 2014 comes to an end, so may the downward trend of gas prices. In just the last month, the average price for a gallon of gas dropped more than 40 cents in Fresno. According to AAA, right now the average in Fresno stands at $2.62. It was $3.03 a month ago. Starting January 1st, experts are predicting prices will inch back up and a new California law will help contribute.

…Starting January 1st, though, those declining gas prices aren’t expected to go any lower. The beginning of 2015 also brings with it what some are calling California’s new hidden gas tax, which could range from 15 cents per gallon to up to 75 cents. Some in the Central Valley aren’t happy about the extra cost at the pump. JoAnne Childers of Fresno said, “I don’t like it. It’s just something else to gouge us for.”

A leading taxpayer advocate offers further details:

“California has second highest gasoline tax in the nation now, before this new tax kicks in,” said Richard Rider of San Diego Tax Fighters. “We’ll be No. 1 easily when new tax kicks in.”

….“We’ve got what amounts to taxes in the form of cap and trade and this applies to industries and now it’s going to apply to cars,” Rider said.

…Those costs will be passed on to consumers in addition to the regular state and sales tax. The average price per gallon of regular gasoline in California is $2.65, down one dollar from a year ago. Experts believe the new increase will start at about 12 cents a gallon, which may not be felt with the current low prices — but what happens when prices go back up?

“From Sacramento’s standpoint, it couldn’t have worked out better,” Rider said. “It just happens that the bottom has fallen out of the petroleum industry.”

And what about the supposed realities of “global warming” that this legislation is supposed to prevent? In fact, 2014 has been a very quiet year in terms of “climate change disasters”.

The U.S. lucked out again this year, as large-scale weather catastrophes — including devastating and deadly hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires — were few and far between.

Not since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Northeast in 2012 has a single natural disaster cost the U.S. tens of billions in damage, according to a report released today by CoreLogic. Sandy cost the U.S. about $70 billion.

In California, we don’t really need nature to wreak havoc — our state is the quintessential example of a “man-made economic disaster.”