California regulations designed to fight global warming could force half of the state’s refineries to close, trigger fuel shortages and add $2.70 per gallon to the cost of gasoline, according to a study released Tuesday by an oil industry lobbying group.
The study, issued by the Western States Petroleum Association, argues that California’s upcoming cap-and-trade system to cut carbon dioxide emissions could wreak havoc with fuel supplies as early as 2015. So could the state’s low carbon fuel standard, a policy requiring refiners to lower the carbon intensity of the fuel they sell in California.
Oil companies have a history of resisting California’s climate change rules. But Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the petroleum association, said Tuesday that her group isn’t trying to overturn the state’s global warming law, known as AB32.
Instead, the association wants to change how the state implements the law. If gasoline prices jump due to the fuel standard and cap and trade, she warned, Californians would probably demand that the entire law be scrapped.
“People could revolt, and if that happens, that’s the end of it,” Reheis-Boyd said. “If this goes the way we think it will, you won’t have a program in 2015.”