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.
San Ramon-based Chevron is leading an aggressive campaign to delay implementation of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a cornerstone of the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The fuel standard requires the oil industry to gradually reduce the “carbon intensity” of transportation fuels like diesel and gasoline by at least 10 percent by 2020. Chevron and its allies, including the Western States Petroleum Association, are trying to undermine the standard by rallying opposition, financing critical studies and lobbying the Democratic-controlled Legislature, state agencies and Gov. Jerry Brown.
While 2012 might not be a banner year for Big Oil profits, it wasn’t a bad one either. With just BP left to announce 2012 earnings, Big Oil earned well over $100 billion in profits last year, while the companies benefit from continued taxpayer subsidies. Average gas prices also hit a record high last year, showing how a drilling boom may help oil companies’ profit margins, but not consumers’ wallets.