Schadenfreude is not the most noble of emotions, but anyone with a soul is rejoicing to see the greener-than-thou crowd in the greenest-of-green states waiting on gas lines for the last drops of overpriced fuel.
Gas prices are spiking to well over $5.00 a gallon. Gas stations are running out of gas. In a state where people have to get in a car to go to the grocery store, it feels like poetic, if not social justice. Call it the wages of auto-eroticism.
Add to that the highest electricity prices in the nation and you have a state in decline, a state that is driving business to Texas, a test case for what happens when environmentalists regulate us back to the Stone Age.
Even the most inveterate atheists have to admit that God does not approve of California.
Naturally, Californians have a right to the most stringent environmental regulations in the nation. They voted for them; they own them. It only seems just that they should pay for them. It’s God’s way of teaching people to take responsibility.
If you have been following the news coverage of the California gas crisis you, as I, have probably come away with the impression that it’s all the fault of a refinery fire or some such accident. This spin makes it all sound like … an accident, an act of God.
This morning a Wall Street Journal editorial showed, on the contrary, that the California gas crisis is a man-caused, or as the green crowd likes to say, anthropogenic calamity.
In Journal’s words:
Because California's fuel regulations are the most stringent in the country, the state is isolated from other energy markets. Few refineries in the world can produce the unique reformulated gasoline blend that the state requires, and almost all are located in California.
Over the last two decades four refineries in the state have shut down rather than invest in expensive upgrades to comply with fuel regulations. The biggest killer was a 2002 ban on the additive MTBE, which refiners had to replace with ethanol. The California Air Resources Board has estimated that this reformulated blend adds five to 15 cents to the cost of every gallon of gas, but Californians pay a premium whenever a refinery shuts down.
The 14 refineries in California that blend its special fuel operate at nearly full capacity. So when a refinery experiences an unexpected outage or even routine maintenance, others can't pick up the slack. And since importing the fuel via tanker can take up to six weeks, Californians are usually stuck paying higher prices until the refinery comes back on line.
Why does California have to depend on chronically slow fuel tankers to bring gas? You guessed it: the state refuses to allow pipelines to befoul its pristine environment.
It’s going to get worse. Even after the refineries come back on line new green regulations are going to kick in in November, making gasoline even more expensive. And then there will be the “low carbon fuel standards” that will take effect in 2015.
The Journal continues:
The state's cap-and-trade program, which charges businesses for emitting carbon, will take effect this November. Oil companies warn they'll pass on the costs to consumers. Meanwhile, a low-carbon fuel standard kicks into high gear in 2015. That's when regulators expect the new generation of biofuels like cellulosic ethanol to be plentiful, though such fuels aren't now commercially viable.