California clean air efforts have unhappy results
Californians appear to be learning a lesson in consequences at their state's gas pumps.
The price of gasoline in that state, which has gone well over $5 a gallon in some cases, has been making national headlines in recent days.
And it won't do any good to try to blame foreign oil monopolies, according to an analysis of the situation by NBC News. Instead it is all about Californians' attitudes about the environment in their state and the actions they have taken to safeguard it.
For decades, California has been at the forefront of clean air efforts, and many there would say with good reason. The urban center of the state, Los Angeles, gave modern meaning to the word “smog,” which refers to a reaction between vehicle engine and industrial fumes and sunlight to produce unattractive and unhealthy air pollution.
The state introduced emissions controls, including new requirements for vehicles and the types of gasoline they burn. They also cracked down on refineries and other industrial operations. The result is a complex regulatory system that requires certain blends of gasoline at certain times of the year and inhibits the expansion of refineries there to produce these special blends that are used in the state.
Something similar has happened in electricity generation regulations there and is the reason power producers have opened operations in Yuma County and elsewhere to sell electricity to California.
The current gas situation is apparently due to a switch over in blends from summer to winter varieties and some refineries going down, for various reasons which has reduced production capacity. The result is shortages and soaring prices on at least a temporary basis, although the state typically has higher gas prices due to its regulatory measures.
The gas prices there are really about choices. Californians and their leaders want strict air quality standards and have taken the steps to make that happen. Many might say that is a necessary thing. But there are consequences for that choice which are being seen now.
You can't have the good without also accepting what comes with it.