From the Globe News Desk(SACRAMENTO, CA)– Assemblymember NancySkinner (D–Berkeley) announcedtoday that she isauthoring legislation to diversifythe fuel mix Californiansrely on for theirtransportation needs. Havingaccess to a range of fuels willgreatly reduce California’sreliance on imported oil.Assembly Bill 638, theTransportation Fuel DiversityAct, will increase California’s self-reliance by reducingpetroleum consumptionto 15% below the 2003 level fuel usage to 26% by 2022.
“Californians overwhelminglyrely on a single fuelsource, petroleum, for 93%of our transportation energyneeds,” said Skinner. “Relianceon petroleum for transportationleaves businessesand consumers vulnerable toprice spikes, like we’ve seenat the pumps over the lastfew weeks. AB 638 createsa diverse transportation fuelportfolio to cushion Californiansagainst this.”
Skinnernotes that the TransportationFuel Diversity Act toucheson national security, economic,and environmental issues.According to the CaliforniaEnergy Commission(CEC), imports account forhalf of California’s oil consumption.With the unrestand instability in foreignoil-supplying nations, California’sreliance on out-ofstateoil leaves businessesand consumers subject tounforeseen and sudden oilprice spikes. Such pricespikes increase costs and uncertainty,a clear detrimentto California’s economy.AB 638 creates a longterm,stable transportationenergy policy that sendsclear market signals to businessesand investors.
Californiais already home tomany fast-growing advancedvehicle and fuel companies.In fact, the non-partisangroup Next 10 found thatstatewide employment in thealternative fuels industry hasincreased 201% since 1995.John Boesel, CEO ofCALSTART and member ofthe California Secure TransportationEnergy Partnership,notes that “Californiansspend $150 million per dayon petroleum fuels, muchof which is going overseas.This represents a significantmissed economic opportunity.It is money that couldbe spent in-state, on technologiesand solutions thatbenefit our economy and increaseour energy security.”
Skinner’s bill sets targetsfor petroleum reduction andalternative fuel usage – includingbut not limited toadvanced bio- and syntheticfuels, natural gas, and electricity.These targets and thetransportation fuel sourceshave already been vettedby the Air Resources Boardand the CEC. With gasolineprices averaging nearly $4/gallon in the state, many ofthese alternatives are costcompetitive with importedfossil fuels. “What we haveto turn around,” says Skinner,“is the entrenchment ofpetroleum infrastructure.”“
AB 638 lowers the barriersthat are inhibiting our use ofalternative transportation fuels,and creates a competitive marketplace of transportation fueloptions,” said AssemblymemberSkinner. “AB 638 strengthensand stabilizes California’seconomy, lessening thedependence on overseas oilthat’s raising costs for Californiaconsumers and businesses.AB 638 will also incentivizeinvestments and create newjobs in California companies.”Assemblymember Skinnerwas elected in 2008 to serve the
14th Assembly District which includes Albany, Berkeley, ElCerrito, Emeryville, Kensington,Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda,Pleasant Hill, Richmond, SanPablo, and parts of El Sobrante,and Oakland. Skinner serves as Chair of the Rules Committee.