Take action! Submit an online comment or Letter to the Editor letting California leaders know we want to lift the veil on Big Oil and set the record straight on gas price manipulation. #stopfoolingCA #stopPickpockets
It’s a standard element of American politics: Gas prices are an evergreen subject of politicians’ campaign rhetoric, the standard measure of Americans’ economic worries and the weapon with which to wage war on unseen corporate evil-doers. Countless investigations on oil price manipulations have been ordered, but the smoking gun is never found.
San Francisco Chronicle: Bill to fight gas-price manipulation
OpEd by: Shannon Baker-Branstetter
May 23, 2013
There are some things you can count on during the summer months in San Francisco: morning fog, Giants baseball and, unfortunately for drivers, rising gas prices.
We know that weather and a dedicated fan base drive the first two, respectively. As for gas prices, the answer is debatable.
What we do know is that large oil companies hold a tremendous amount of power in California. Oil giants like Chevron, Valero and Tesoro have a virtual hold on the market, controlling supply, production and, ultimately, the price you pay for gas at the pump.
An independent panel of scientific experts today reaffirmed that an oil industry association’s study of California’s landmark clean energy law (AB32), in particular the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, was flawed on a number of fronts, saying it did not “include a full accounting of the economic impacts, or the health and welfare impacts of the legislation on the broader population and economy of the state,” such as “positive effects on the health and welfare of the citizens of California that could result from the implementation of AB32.”
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers contracted with the Policy Institute to facilitate an expert evaluation of the report “Understanding the Impacts of AB32” and the subsequent analysis “BCG and CARB LCFS Models: Review of impact of assumptions in three different areas”. These original reports were funded by WSPA and produced by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The stated scope and goals of the BCG report are as follows:
“We analyzed the likely impact of AB32 fuels policies on emissions and refining economics using proprietary BCG models. We then developed a framework to assess how these changes are likely to impact California’s economy along key dimensions including employment, government revenues, and GHG emissions.”
If you have been following events in California, oil refiners have been waging a well-funded war on California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which requires oil companies to reduce the carbon pollution from gasoline and diesel by 10 percent by 2020.
Centerpiece in their strategy was a June 2012 report from Boston Consulting Group (funded by the Western States Petroleum Association) that concluded that a full and continued implementation of the LCFS would leave refiners “no other option but to refuse to supply the United State’s largest transportation fuels market or to simply shut-down.”