Fuel Fight: California Tries to Kick the Oil Habit

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 2.10.11 PM By Amy Harder | October 16, 2013

LOS ANGELES—Here in the land of perpetually jammed freeways, filling up downtown sets you back $5.09 a gallon. While the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.36, you’d be hard pressed to find anything cheaper than $4 in L.A.

Californians are used to paying some of the highest energy prices in the country, especially in this sprawling city. Not coincidentally, they’re also living in the state most committed to combatting climate change, slashing fossil-fuel consumption, and ramping up renewable energy.

Where Your Gas Money Goes

Every year Americans spend hundreds of billions of dollars at the gas pump, but where does that money go? To find the answer, UCS examined how drivers’ gas dollars are distributed among all the stakeholders involved in getting oil from the ground to your gas tank.

The results are clear. Your gas money doesn’t support your local gas station, nor does it benefit you financially, even if you own oil company stock. Most of the money you spend at the pump goes directly to one place: oil companies.

Read the full report at Ucsusa.org

Nancy Pfund: Jerry Brown should not back down on energy standards

When I took home my new Tesla Model S last June, I learned what it meant to be a celebrity. Not me, mind you, my car.

Long-lost friends emailed me, complete strangers high-fived me, and I started writing myself reminders to “give so-and-so a ride in the Model S.”

Driving this sleek sedan is a privilege I don’t take for granted. And thanks in large part to California’s visionary energy and vehicle standards, the Model S — which travels up to 300 miles per charge, with minimal impact on our air and climate — offers a glimpse of our automotive future. While it’s a premium-priced car, future models will be increasingly accessible. Our state can be a mecca for this job-creating new e-vehicle industry.

Read the full piece at MercuryNews.com

Chevron fined nearly $1M for Calif. refinery fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chevron was fined nearly $1 million by the state on Wednesday in connection with a fire at the company’s San Francisco Bay area refinery last year that sent a cloud of gas and black smoke over residential areas.

The California Division of Occupation Safety and Health said investigators found “willful violations” in Chevron Corp.’s response before, during and after the Aug. 6 fire in Richmond caused by an old, leaky pipe in one of the facility’s crude units.

Read the full story at YahooFinance