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Gov. Brown Makes Move to Bring Down Soaring Gas Prices

California Air Resources Board easing certain restrictions on gasoline production in response to a directive issued by Gov. Jerry Brown.

By Bay City News Service

The California Air Resources Board announced Sunday evening that it is easing certain restrictions on gasoline production in response to a directive issued by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown ordered the board to allow refineries to switch to a gasoline blend that is normally only used in winter in an effort to lower gas prices.

The order, issued Sunday, directed the board to take whatever steps are necessary to authorize refineries to make an early switch to winter-blend gasoline.

The blend, which isn't normally sold until after Oct. 31, evaporates more quickly than summer blend and is worse for air quality during the smog season, according to state officials.

However, an early transition to it could increase the state's fuel supply by an estimated 8 to 10 percent with a negligible air quality impact, Brown said. Due to its composition, refiners can produce more of the winter blend.

Sunday evening, in response to the governor's order, the California Air Resources Board announced that it will allow the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of the winter-grade gasoline.

State officials said the recent spike in gas prices, which has seen gas prices above $5 a gallon in some areas, has been fueled in part by recent disruptions in gas production, including at an Exxon refinery in Southern California.

However, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said that even with the disruptions, gas production in the state this week remained nearly as high as a year ago, and that stockpiles remain similar to last year's.

Feinstein sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Sunday calling for an investigation into the price hike.

"California's consumers are all too familiar with energy price spikes, which cannot be explained by market fundamentals and which turn out years later to have been the result of malicious and manipulative trading activity," Feinstein said in the letter.

John Harrington October 09, 2012 at 02:45 AM
There is really nothing sinister here. CA has 14 refineries that produce gasoline for use in the state (there were 18 twenty years ago). My understanding is that these refineraries operate pretty much at max. capacity. There is little if any excess capacity. A combination of fire (Chevron), electrical outage (SoCal) and scheduled outage for maintenance caused 25% of the capacity of go off-line -- so, less gasoline was/is being produced. Phoenix and Las Vegas could be awash in gasoline, but because CA won't use gasoline from other states (plus, no pipelines), an excess in one part of the country is not available to help out in an emergency. This is classic supply and demand -- when demand outstrips supply then price goes up. It's going to get worse beginning in November when the state's cap and trade system goes into place. Would not be surprised to see one or more of the 14 refineries close for good. So, get use to it. FYI, if you want less expensive fuel, move to South Carolina; their's was $3.49 a gallon over the weekend.
Rich Buckley October 09, 2012 at 01:26 PM
What If LLNL Goes Public With Zero Point Energy Lecture Series At The Bankhead? I've been part of the problem. I allowed myself for many decades to trust science and free markets for energy innovations.  I didn't realize, for example, the Fleischmann–Pons claims for Cold Fusion:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=178TJujE5oY&feature=youtube_gdata_player ...had been successfully replicated "hundred of times" demonstrating it can be made to work, according to former Princeton physicist Dr. Bill O'Leary (see video above). And there are hundreds of Over-1 Energy Devices being suppressed. O'Leary goes on to point out that mainstream media suppression working with vested energy interests in industry and in government-funded science, still work to not only destroy the careers of those free-spirited energy researchers, but like the late Dr. Eugene Mallove, Chief Science Writer, for MIT, at some very high level, saw to it he was bludgeoned to death in his own backyard 12-hours before Mallove and a small group were to present a Zero-Point-Energy desktop device to an official Senate hearing. It's time for TPTB to open the topic of Zero Point Energy for public discussion. Mallove's story makes me contemplate the apparent conflicts of interests at many levels that would explain why our own LLNL, in all their decades have never put on "public lectures and demonstration fairs" on Zero Point Energy and invite speakers like O'Leary and researchers.   Let's start a public dialogue.
Rich Buckley October 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM
A DOE promoted Zero Point Energy Plan could mobilize manufactures and kick start us into a Super Clean Energy era : http://livermore.patch.com/articles/gas-prices-may-have-stabilized#comment_5011108
Henrii October 13, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Rich, are you talking about the cold fusion stuff that no one understands? As great as that sounds, it does seem too futuristic. How do you 'cross that bridge' from choking on the fumes and choking on the price of gas to clean energy. The layers of infrastructure from jobs to profit to power and control are many. We have less refineries than 20 years ago? Price manipulation anyone? There's no shortage of gas but can be unaffordable due to not enough refineries. Talk clean cheap energy and the fear and backlash reaction is psycho. I guess they don't realize it actually creates jobs in so many area we can't even imagine yet. But in the meantime there is the now. I'm sure it has to start 'local' and 'grassroots' as the government has no desire to make us free from the control of energy. Maybe it's easier to complain?
Rich Buckley October 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Henrii, If what Bill O'Leary says in the video is true: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=178TJujE5oY&feature=youtube_gdata_player ... cold fusion harbors an implementation problem that would first need to be over come, ... I paraphrase: "the attitude (a quantum level consideration) of the observer effects the outcome of the cold fusion experiment." What?!!! We can't risk building cold fusion plants if doing so requires they be run only by people with positive, enlightened attitudes. We're not quite to that level of sybiotic machine interface. Yet it does pose an interesting paradox on par with the so called double-slit experiment where the "act of observing the experiment directly or indirectly", alters the outcome changing the target presentation from wave traces (no observer) to particle traces (with observer) ...see first video posted here: http://tinyurl.com/yk8u6dt This probably is why the Q-clearance staff out at LLNL were passing around the "Tao of Physics" They knew this 30+ years ago; your consciousness effects outcomes at the quantum level....and cold fusion is by definition, orchestrated at the quantum level.

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