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  Oil Lobby Wants to Expedite Global Warming
February 5, 2013

Last week, I reprinted a story by Dana Hull of the Contra Costa Times (San Jose Mercury News) describing how “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.” Chevron and other oil companies claim that the standard is unobtainable and, if implemented, would ruin the economy. See  Chevron Pretty Much Plays with a Full Court Press, January 31, 2013.
I said at the time that what Chevron is doing is disgusting, and I continue to believe that. They continue to pursue immediate profit while the climatic future of the earth hangs in jeopardy.
I think it is important to present information that refutes the position the oil lobby is taking. Below is an article form Susan Frank. Also see:

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2013 17:55:10 -0600
Subject: The attempt to derail California's clean-air policies
The attempt to derail California's clean-air policies
Capitol Weekly
By Susan Frank | 01/28/13 
California businesses and the public at large are beginning to reap the substantial rewards of our state’s landmark clean air and energy policies. Unfortunately, this progress is in significant jeopardy thanks to the oil industry and other dirty energy companies that continue to do everything possible to undermine these laws. It is important to remember the long history of these efforts by looking at the facts – and that means treading over some familiar turf.
AB 32, the law of the land for more than six years and consistently supported by California voters, utilizes an innovative combination of traditional regulation and flexible, market-based strategies to achieve carbon reductions. Included in the suite of policies that is AB 32 are the recently launched cap and trade program and a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), both of which are spurring investments in clean energy technologies and creating jobs.
Small and large companies across the state have embraced these policies, and are already working to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, and delivering real consumer choice while  remaining or even improving profits as a result. Meanwhile, the oil industry and its old manufacturing friends consistently work to avoid complying with AB 32 and the LCFS through legal and other challenges, all the while claiming that it will be too expensive to meet the standards.
Yet, oil and gas companies are spending more than $100 million a year to buy access to lawmakers with the hope of overturning AB 32 and the LCFS. One of the oil industry’s lead lobbying groups, Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), alone has spent more than $16 million lobbying in Sacramento since 2009 and the oil industry as a whole has spent more than $32 million. All of this spending is designed to keep Californians dependent on dirty oil to the tune of $60 billion annually.
Last summer WSPA commissioned a study on AB 32’s cap and trade and LCFS provisions. Unlike previous peer-reviewed analyses, the WSPA report predicted that the LCFS would hurt California’s economy. Because the findings of this report were such extreme outliers compared to other analyses of the LCFS’s economic ramifications, my organization asked the highly-regarded technology development and consulting firm, TIAX, to evaluate the study. Not surprisingly given the study’s sponsor, TIAX found several significant inaccuracies and faulty assumptions in the report, which called the entire study into question.
Just last week, an oil industry-funded political organization called “Fueling California” held a closed-door meeting under the guise of having a “technical workshop” to discuss the LCFS. It was reported by people in attendance that when audience members inquired about why certain interest groups weren’t in the room, event representatives said that those interest groups “boycotted” the event. No such boycott occurred. When business people, developers of clean fuel technologies, and policy analysts asked if they could attend, they were told “no.” Even technical experts at the California Air Resources Board – the very people charged with implementing the standard – were not invited.
This calls Fueling California’s whole mission and purpose into question. But then again, the organization closely aligns itself with the same organizations – WSPA, AB 32 Implementation Group, California Manufacturers & Technology Association – that were behind the failed Proposition 23 campaign, which tried to kill AB 32 in 2010. And Fueling California consistently uses its meetings and other communications platforms to highlight thoroughly debunked oil company-funded research aimed at derailing the state’s clean air standards.
I haven’t spent much time here sharing the substantial evidence that AB 32 and the LCFS are tremendous economic drivers, but the facts are clear. Nor have I touted the research that shows that affordable, available technology exists to meet these standards, but the research is unmistakable. I haven’t highlighted why AB 32 and LCFS are good for our state’s residents and businesses because this is all familiar turf for Californians who have seen these deceptive tactics, deep-pocketed lobbyists and slick marketing campaigns before.
The bottom line is that the oil industry and its friends are spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying the Legislature, commissioning flawed studies, and hosting closed-door events, all designed to manufacture a false consensus around the need to overturn clean air laws that are improving California’s economy and are supported by the public. Sound familiar?
Ed's Note: Susan Frank is director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, a network of more than 1,250 businesses and business organizations supporting California policies that move the state toward a clean and efficient economy.
 Chevron and its allies take aim at California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard
By Dana Hull dhull@mercurynews.com
Posted:   01/31/2013 03:20:19 PM PST
Updated:   01/31/2013 03:38:29 PM PST

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.
The political pushback comes as compliance regulations ratchet up and climate change has re-emerged as a top priority for both Brown and President Barack Obama. California's attempts to rein in greenhouse gases are widely seen as a possible playbook for regulatory action at the regional or national level.
Chevron and the Western States Petroleum Association argue that the 2020 timeline can't be met without severe economic impacts, including a huge spike in gasoline prices.
"California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard establishes an unworkable program that will not meet its goals," Chevron spokesman Brent Tippen said in an interview. "The Air Resources Board should undertake an immediate and accelerated review of the program and make fundamental changes to its design and the timing of its implementation."
Critics of the fuel standard stress that alternative, low-carbon biofuels, particularly cellulosic ethanol made from materials like wood or grasses, are not being produced in high enough volumes to significantly offset the use of traditional fuels.
"Cellulosic ethanol was supposed to be the silver bullet," said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the petroleum association. "Everyone thought we'd have large volumes at commercial scales, and that has not happened and will not happen in this time frame. It's time for all of us to revisit this."
But clean air advocates, environmentalists, utilities and the auto industry remain strong supporters of the fuel standard, and say it's time for the oil industry to step up and do its part. They note that utilities such as PG&E are well on their way to meeting a state mandate to purchase 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while automakers have invested billions to meet tough new fuel efficiency requirements and produce electric cars.
"The oil industry is not doing its fair share," said Simon Mui, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "They can invest in cleaner fuels, but instead they are fighting this policy tooth and nail."
The Low Carbon Fuel Standard was enacted in 2007 as part of AB32, the landmark global warming bill championed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's now being challenged not only by the oil industry but also several corn-based ethanol producers from the Midwest, who argued in federal court that California's regulations violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and are shutting them out of the market because of the way various fuels are rated. That lawsuit is currently under review by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; a decision could come any day.
Under the standard, fuels -- from gasoline to ethanol made from corn, sugar or cellulosic materials -- are given carbon intensity "scores" by state regulators. Carbon intensity is measured by the entire life cycle of the fuel -- from the well to the wheel -- taking into account greenhouse gas emissions from extracting and refining to transporting the fuels to local gas stations.
The main aim of the fuel standard is to push the oil industry to invest in new technology and cleaner fuels like electricity, biofuels, hydrogen and natural gas. Some critics, including Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, warn that the fuel standard could negatively impact food prices and land use as more farmland is used to grow crops for ethanol.
However, Dan Sperling, a founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis who serves on the Air Resources Board, says transportation accounts for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in California and therefore must be addressed.
"If we are going to have a reduction in greenhouse gases from transportation, something has to be done with the fuels," he said.
Last year, the petroleum association hired the Boston Consulting Group to conduct a study of the new standard that concluded it and other clean fuel regulations could force the closure of up to half of California's 14 refineries, throw thousands out of work and cause a spike in gas prices -- strong arguments in a state with 9.8 percent unemployment.
"The BCG study predicts that gasoline prices could increase by up to $2.50 per gallon, bringing California's per-gallon price into the $6 range," said Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero, which has a refinery in Benicia. "That's about the last thing that the state's still-weak economy needs."
Others dismissed the analysis as industry-funded and flawed.
"The analysis cherry-picks its assumptions to build a one-sided case showing a dismal economic future for oil refiners," said Susan Frank of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy.
Chevron is marshaling its attack, in part, through Fueling California, a nonprofit organization it founded in 2008, shortly after the new standard was adopted. The group represents corporate fuel consumers such as Wal-Mart and UPS, and says it provides a "new and united voice on behalf of major fuel consumers." Fueling California is a 501(c) 4 organization, which means it can lobby state agencies and legislators but is not required to disclose its donors. A spokeswoman confirmed that "the majority of our funding comes from Chevron."
Lobbying records with the Secretary of State's Office show that Fueling California spent $282,620 in the 2011-12 legislative session lobbying the governor's office, lawmakers, the air board and other state agencies, largely on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
Last week, Fueling California held an invitation-only "technical workshop" for roughly 50 people at a hotel in Burbank. The daylong event, which was closed to the media, was attended by representatives from oil companies and the natural gas and biofuels industry. Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, who has four refineries in her East Bay district, gave closing remarks.
"It was a very technical discussion, and people disagreed with each other," Bonilla said. "The consensus forming is that there are problems with the implementation timeline."
Contact Dana Hull at 408-920-2706. Follow her at Twitter.com/danahull.