Gas Prices

The California Air Resources Board is expected to decide, on Friday, to restore rules requiring a 10 precent cut in carbon emissions on fuels sold in the state, by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices.

By Judy Lin, Associated Press
Sept. 25, 2015 | 12:38 a.m. EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators are poised to restore a first-in-the-nation climate change program that requires a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions on transportation fuels sold in the state by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices.

After the program survived a lengthy legal challenge from fuel makers, regulators are expected to vote Friday on the clean fuel standard, which environmentalists and some business groups are hailing as one of California’s most important moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The California Air Resources Board estimates the economic impact to consumers would be a few cents per gallon, costing a typical commuter $5 to $21 extra in 2017, increasing to $12 to $48 annually in 2020.

“It is giving clear direction to the fuel-producing sector that this is the direction of the state,” said John Boesel, president and chief executive of CALSTART, a transportation business group that supports clean-energy technology.

The standard’s expected passage was a boost for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has vowed to intensify his fight against climate change after the oil lobby helped kill a Democratic legislative proposal earlier this month to slash statewide petroleum use by half in 15 years.

Unlike other rules the state has adopted requiring cleaner-burning fuel or more fuel-efficient vehicles, the standard, first proposed in a 2007 executive order from then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, calls for counting all the pollution required to deliver gasoline, diesel or alternative fuels to in-state consumers — from drilling a new oil well or planting corn to delivering it to gas stations.

In addition to tailpipe emissions, it includes factors such as whether an ethanol factory uses coal or natural gas to power production or an oil rig uses diesel fuel to drill.

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