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.
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.”