Dan Adler’s opinion editorial criticizing our recent study of economic impacts of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (Shocking news: Oil industry touts study backing continued oil dependence, August 14, 2011) is built on the false choice we often see presented when AB 32 and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard are discussed.
The issue is not whether we continue to supply the state with petroleum-based fuels or we invest more heavily in alternative low-carbon energy sources. By urging that California reject “the polluting technologies of the past,” Mr. Adler ignores the reality that California’s economy is heavily dependent on petroleum and will continue to be for many decades to come. We can and must invest in alternative energy supplies but not at the risk of disrupting the energy supply chain upon which our well being relies.
The Boston Consulting Group study WSPA commissioned simply points out the potential market disruptions and fuel supply problems the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard is likely to create. Pursuing experimental policies without at least examining the potential unintended consequences of those policies is not just unwise, it’s dangerous.
The alternative energy venture capital community that Mr. Adler represents has been very vocal in its support for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and its hope the State of California will provide “market certainty for the state’s clean technology businesses.” What they really are talking about is regulatory certainty that puts a heavy burden on the state’s businesses and consumers in the form of dramatically higher energy costs in order to make alternative energy investments more attractive.
Our purpose for commissioning the study was to understand the full implications of the climate change policies being implemented in California, including the LCFS, and to begin a conversation about whether they are the right policies to achieve the goals established by AB 32. We continue to believe those goals can and should be met but with policies that ultimately will have the support of California’s business community and consumers.
Western States Petroleum Association