California's record gasoline prices and long service station lines are a warning to all of us about what green energy can do to our pocketbooks.
On Monday, California gasoline cost $4.67 per gallon, compared with the $3.81 U.S. average. California's environmental standards are the most stringent in the country, and Californians are paying the price.
The price spike started with an August fire in Chevron's Richmond refinery. Then, two other refineries, operated by Tesoro and Exxon Mobil, went down for maintenance. Because California requires different blends of gasoline from other states, and pipelines across the Rockies are limited, gasoline can't be shipped in from elsewhere.
On Sunday, in an attempt to lower gasoline prices, Gov. Jerry Brown suspended the environmental regulations that kept California prices above those in the rest of the United States.
Brown ordered California to switch to cheaper winter-blend gasoline from summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive. The switch was accelerated from a planned date of Nov. 1. The rest of the country made the change on Sept. 15.
Since President Obama's inauguration in January 2009, base gasoline prices nationally have more than doubled, from $1.84 to $3.81. America needs more production and streamlined environmental regulations to lower prices.
Here's a five-step plan to lower gasoline prices:
» Approve the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama vetoed the pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada to our refineries in the Gulf. Canada is planning a pipeline to its west coast, to ship oil to China. Mitt Romney has said he would approve the pipeline.
» Expand oil exploration. Allow individual states to determine their level of oil exploration. The administration is blocking the oil exploration plans of Alaska and Virginia, among others. Romney wants states to have more control. North Dakota has produced so much oil because most of the state is privately owned and property owners can lease out their land to oil developers. Development on federal land could bring in revenue for the U.S. Treasury and oil for the refineries in the Gulf.