Business Leaders: Oil Industry Should Join Others in Complying with Carbon Emissions Law - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Business Leaders: Oil Industry Should Join Others in Complying with Carbon Emissions Law

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SOURCE California Business Alliance for a Green Economy

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- California business leaders are urging the state to deny requests to exempt oil companies from its successful cap and trade program. "Hundreds of California businesses have been successfully complying with the state's clean energy law – AB 32 – and the oil industry shouldn't receive a special exemption," said Susan Frank, director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, which recently signed a letter to a handful of lawmakers seeking such an exemption.

With transportation fuels scheduled to come under the cap and trade program effective January 1, 2015, there has been speculation around the implications. But this concern, says Frank, is based on incorrect information about the state's plan to transition to a clean energy economy-and the ways in which it is already working for Californians.

"There is nothing in AB 32 mandating that gas prices go up or that oil companies must pass on their cost of compliance to California businesses and residents," Frank said.  Moreover, while gas prices have been rising nationwide, the continued implementation of AB 32 is significantly reducing overall fuel bills for California business owners and consumers.

For example:

  • Even in the context of a growing economy, California retailers sold 523 million fewer gallons of gasoline in 2012 than in 2009, according to the California Energy Almanac. This resulted in millions of dollars that businesses and families could spend elsewhere in the economy.
  • By 2020, the average Californian is expected to pay 30 percent less on fuel than they did in 2011, according to the AB 32 Scoping Plan update.

"As California's transportation sector gets more efficient, we're no longer measuring gasoline by the gallon, but by the overall bill, which has been dropping dramatically thanks to more fuel-efficient vehicles consuming far less gasoline," added Frank. The transportation sector accounts for 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the state.

The next step of including transportation fuels under cap and trade will lead to further savings-and job growth-by investing in programs that will give all Californians new transportation choices.

Any delay in moving forward on transportation fuels would harm the health and well-being of California workers and consumers, and go against the will of the voters, Frank said.

Only one industry, the world's most profitable, would benefit from being exempted from cap and trade, Frank said.  "All major emitters in the state are complying with AB 32," she said. "There is no reason the oil industry cannot do its fair share and direct its entrepreneurial acumen toward a more sustainable and equitable future."

The California Business Alliance for a Green Economy (www.ca-greenbusinessalliance.com) is a network of more than 1,280 mostly small and mainstream businesses that support California's efforts to promote clean energy, fossil fuel independence, and energy efficiency, which spur investment, innovation, and economic growth in our state while protecting our economy from the volatility of fossil fuel prices and the hidden costs of climate change.

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