The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

The California Lab

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 14, 2009

If you're looking for a laboratory where environmental and energy policy is being tested, look west toward California. Over the past several years, California's elected officials have enacted some of the strongest requirements to curb air pollution, create its own recipe for gasoline and transition to a new form of diesel fuel earlier than anywhere else in the country.

But many of these actions have been costly for the state's residents and the economy. As Bob Sturtz, chairman of the board of Fueling California, said yesterday in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee:

"California prices are increasingly inflated by the state's policies, taxes and fees. These California-specific rules and regulations ignore the ripple effect on fuel prices and availability for businesses and consumers alike, especially during these economically challenging times...The impacts on movement of goods, services and people is profound, ultimately diminishing the state's quality of living and further highlighting the advantages of other states."

Interestingly, while Sturtz is calling on California to re-examine its fuel policies, the Los Angeles Times reports that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning to issue an executive order requiring California's electric utilities to use renewable fuels to produce one-third of their power by 2020. California's laboratory experiments are continuing...