by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
No one has ever gone broke betting that Democrats will return to the same old dopey talking points about big corporations causing all the world’s evils. They are forced to go back to this well quite often because so many of the world’s problems are, in fact, caused by Democratic policy choices.
Often, the corporate subjects of their ire will simply sit back and take the abuse, knowing full well that they’ll still be making money after the Democratic politicians are done grandstanding. … But sometimes, a business or industry strikes back, and that’s when things get fun. …
… Officials on the California Energy Commission, such as [Gov. Gavin] Newsom, had rather foolishly insinuated that there was some kind of gas price conspiracy afoot and demanded an immediate explanation from oil companies. But they got a much more forceful response than they had bargained for from Scott Folwarkow, Valero’s vice president for state government affairs.
“For Valero, California is the most expensive operating environment in the country and a very hostile regulatory environment for refining,” wrote Folwarkow. “California policymakers have knowingly adopted policies with the expressed intent of eliminating the refinery sector. California requires refiners to pay very high carbon cap-and-trade fees and burdened gasoline with cost of the low carbon fuel standards. With the backdrop of these policies, not surprisingly, California has seen refineries completely close or shut down major units. When you shut down refinery operations, you limit the resilience of the supply chain.”
If that wasn’t brutal enough, the last paragraph was absolutely scathing.
“We believe the commission experts understand that California cannot mandate a unique fuel that is not readily [available] outside of the West Coast, and then burden or eliminate California refining capacity and expect to have robust fuel supplies,” wrote Folwarkow.
California’s entire state government, legislative and executive, is completely clueless about energy policy.