For the past two decades, energy experts in California have warned officials that the unique blend of gasoline the state uses makes them vulnerable to supply shortages and price spikes.
Residents are now watching it play out even as Governor Gavin Newsom approves a switch to winter blend early to try to ease the supply choke.
But despite multiple warnings, meetings, and reports – no one came up with any workable solutions to help residents who are now feeling the burn.
The gasoline supply in California is at its lowest in a decade even as demand is rising, but state leaders are still dithering on a fix.
Severin Borenstein, director of UC Berkeley’s Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business, explains, “We’ve got to make longer-run plans and not just wait until the next crisis is upon us. We could take actions to try to smooth that [fluctuation in the market], but it requires some public policy.”
For state leaders, it’s a delicate dance between California’s clean energy commitment and ensuring people don’t suffer here and now for a distant cleaner future.
Amy Myers Jaffe, the managing director of Tufts University Climate Policy Lab, told the Los Angeles Times, “Do I have the new infrastructure fast enough before I retire the old infrastructure, and what happens if you’re in the middle? The way we’re doing it now is you just let the fuel costs go up, and then we leave poor people with no ability to get anywhere … And then [leaders] grandstand against the oil companies – that’s not a solution.”
While Newsom is making noise about solving the problem, experts have yet to see the policy shift necessary to prevent the next significant shortage and price crisis – and band-aid fixes won’t cut it forever.
Meanwhile, in Scottsdale, Arizona, this video below is their #Mood. Nothing matters anymore in this country … just keep it moving.