NPRA: California's GHG reduction law will hurt jobs, raise costs

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association said the defeat of California Proposition 23 will hurt California residents by threatening jobs and raising the cost of various types of energy, including gasoline, diesel, and electricity, within the state.

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Nov. 3 -- The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association said the defeat of California Proposition 23 will hurt California residents by threatening jobs and raising the cost of various types of energy, including gasoline, diesel, and electricity, within the state.

Prop 23, overwhelming defeated by midterm election voters, called for delaying the scheduled 2012 implementation of Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), a state law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Valero Energy Corp., Tesoro Corp., and Flint Hills Resources made financial contributions favoring Prop 23.

NPRA Pres. Charles T. Drevna said on Nov. 3 that Prop 23 was defeated by “a sophisticated multimillion-dollar misinformation campaign” aimed at convincing California voters that Prop 23 was about health issues.

“Proposition 23 would simply have temporarily postponed drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that are made up largely of carbon dioxide, the same substance humans and animals exhale after every breath we take,” Drevna said. “The postponement would have been in effect only until California's unemployment rate dropped to reasonable levels for a year.”

California’s September unemployment rate was 12.4%. Under Prop 23, implementation of AB32 would have been suspended until the state’s unemployment rate was 5.5% for 1 year.

"The severe economic pain and hardship caused by the extreme mandates of AB32 will accomplish absolutely nothing positive in terms of climate change,” Drevna said.

He believes AB32 will prompt the relocation of jobs and businesses from California to other states and other countries. This also means relocating carbon emissions produced by those businesses.

“Since every state and nation on Earth share the same atmosphere, moving carbon from one location to another will not bring about any reduction in greenhouse gases.” Drevna said.

Executives of Valero and Tesoro have previously said that Prop 23 was not a vote on the need for climate-change regulation but rather was a vote about the timing of the regulation.

NPRA members include more than 450 companies, including most US refiners and petrochemical manufacturers.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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