AAA against Oregon's Clean Fuels Program

Instead, AAA Supports What Shameless Marketers Call The "Organic" Coal Industry

In late April, BWC joined with Clean Fuels Now and more than 100 other companies to encourage our Oregon members to consider contacting our state officials and voice their support for Oregon’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, the Clean Fuel Program which the Oregon legislature had scheduled to sunset in 2015.

The Clean Fuels Program requires oil companies to reduce carbon pollution from their gasoline and diesel fuel by 10% over ten years. The Program is technology-neutral: it lets oil companies decide which clean technologies to invest in, by either blending low-carbon biofuels or purchasing credits from clean fuel providers.

Oregon Environmental Counsel expects the Clean Fuels Program to:

  • Save Oregonians as much as $1.6 billion in fuel costs
  • Create between 800 and 29,000 jobs
  • Grow personal income by as much as $2.6 billion
  • Generate as much as $2.1 billion in Gross State Product

Not to mention environmental benefits (*cough**cough*climate change*cough*) and the subsequent health benefits.    

AAA, however, along with other petroleum industry supporters have been pushing to let the program end.  AAA is reported to have said, "We are convinced that the proposed (Low-Carbon Fuel Standards) rules assume market factors (e.g. availability of cellulosic ethanol) that are not realistic, nor that reflect sound understanding of how much market factors evolve and interrelate to this effort… As a result of these challenges, we are concerned that the rules proposed by the DEQ won’t accomplish what they set out to accomplish, and/or their effort will be extremely costly and potentially harmful to the economy."

Perhaps AAA is using a different reality model – such seems common practice with today’s “information” networks (you might remember when they were known as news networks).  We at BWC are convinced that AAA’s relationship with the highway lobby and oil industry has clouded their judgment.  But rather than elocute a rebuttal of opinion, we would rather let you see some of the actual costs of fuels and then let you decide if mandating investments in cleaner fuels will be harmful to the economy. 

Alternative fuel producers and suppliers have said lifting the sunset date would spur innovation and increase investment in refineries and fueling stations.

In The Oregonian’s  letter to the editor, industry players voiced their support for the program, saying that while “It comes as no surprise that the petroleum industry is trying to kill the Clean Fuels Program, and these ridiculous "facts" about alternative fuels become more outrageous by the day,” the ultimate benefits of pursuing a cleaner energy policy in Oregon (a state with no oil refineries) outweighs the short term growth pains.

 It is always possible to augment a policy to improve its efficacy, but to step away from a policy that pushes for investment in a cleaner fuel future is just an oil black step in the wrong direction.

Kicking Asphalt

This article is from Better World Club's monthly eNewsletter, Kicking Asphalt. To receive Kicking Asphalt in your inbox, subscribe today!

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