The reliably left-wing Los Angeles Times has published an unusually candid analysis: that California’s policymakers, given ample warnings about the state’s vulnerability to high gas prices, have failed to do anything to address the basic problems that cause them.
The Times recounted how the state created special committees in the 1990s, and again in the last decade, to deal with the challenges created by California’s “green” regulations and its aggressive environmental rules on the one hand, and market realities on the other.
The Times noted Friday:
California officials have had repeated warnings over the last two decades that the state’s unique blend of gasoline is susceptible to supply shortages and sharp price spikes.
But despite multiple reports and special committees, California has struggled to find solutions as it tries to rapidly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision last week to switch early to the state’s easier and cheaper winter blend of fuel has been credited for minor relief at the pump. But experts say that move alone does little to remedy a situation that keeps reaching crisis levels. The average price for a gallon of gasoline remains well above $6 in California, about 70% higher than the national average, according to the American Automobile Assn.
Newsom has blamed oil and gas companies for the recent rise in prices to near-record levels, even as much of the rest of the country has experienced a modest decline in prices from the late spring highs. But as a spokesman for Valero, the company that operates two of the state’s 11 refineries, recently noted in a letter to the California Energy Commission, “market drivers of supply and demand, together with government-imposed costs and specifications,” are the main reasons for high prices in California, and cited a recent federal judicial decision that dismissed claims of price collusion in the industry.
Moreover, he added, “California is the most challenging market to serve in the United States” because of regulations that require a unique blend of gasoline; because of its environmental regulations; and because state policymakers have made it difficult to operate refineries, limiting supply in a crisis.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.