From the Associated Press:
Release of ‘winter-blend’ gas could reduce prices
Release of ‘winter-blend’ gas in Calif. could lower prices; air quality not expected to worsen
By Jason Dearen | Tues October 9, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State air pollution regulators said Monday that California’s air quality is not expected to worsen appreciably after the governor ordered the release of a dirtier blend of gasoline to help slash record-high pump prices.
The California Air Resources Board issued a regulatory advisory a day earlier after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered them to allow so-called "winter-blend" gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to increase supply.
AAA said the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California hit $4.668 Monday — the highest price in the nation and an all-time high for the Golden State. Analysts said the spike has been driven by refinery disruptions and corrosion issues in an important pipeline.
And it has nothing whatsoever to do with any Obama policies.
"This action is necessary to address the extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstance," said the board’s advisory allowing the use of the more polluting fuel. "(It) is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety or general welfare."
So they are allowing dirtier gas "for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety or general welfare."
California usually converts to the gas on Oct. 31. The fuel evaporates in heat more quickly than summer-blends, so sends more pollutants into the environment, especially in warm weather.
Gil Duran, a spokesman for Brown, said the governor looked at all the options available, particularly scientists’ prediction that such a change would not have a significant effect on the environment and "when he learned this could increase the supply by 8 to 10 percent, it just made sense." …
Apparently, they just happened to ask the right scientists.
The third day of record-setting prices at the pump has also prompted calls for a federal investigation.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., on Monday asked the Department of Justice’s oil and gas price fraud working group to look into whether maintenance issues at refineries were being used as an excuse to drive up energy prices.
Boxer’s request came a day after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate, saying residents need to be protected from "malicious trading schemes." …
How many times have Democrats called for investigations? And what have they ever found?
In some locations, fuming [sic] motorists paid $5 or more per gallon while station owners had to shut down pumps in others.
A station in Long Beach south of Los Angeles had California’s priciest gas at $6.65 for a gallon of regular, according to GasBuddy.com…
Winter-blend gas typically isn’t sold until November, when cooler temperatures allow for its use while maintaining federal and state air quality standards…
Still, the air board said it believed that changing over a few weeks earlier than normal would not push California’s air pollution beyond normal levels for this time of year…
Isn’t that handy?