Mysterious Ship Helped Keep California Gas Prices High, Consumer Advocate Says
Our “Summer blend” has very little helpful impact on the environment, especially since the fuel systems at gas stations and in cars are largely sealed and vapors are recycled back in. The special California only blend serves largely to cost extra money, disrupt supply, and line the pockets of energy suppliers needlessly.
In the Voter ID debate the handful of dollars it costs to get photo ID and perhaps the need to travel to a government office is pointed out as a severe hardship on the poor. Enough of a hardship to suppress their vote. Even the working poor. It is said those few dollars per person powerfully impacts elections in favor of the GOP.
Even assuming that to be an inarguable fact, that’s a pittance compared to what high gasoline costs do to the poor. A dollar a gallon, ever gallon when we consider state gas taxes and the extra cost of the Summer blend. It’s inflationary for every product that must be delivered to stores. Basic essentials cost more, looking for a job costs more, keeping the job costs more.
Has anyone looked at how high gas costs might keep some from going out and voting let alone participating at a more involved level? Votes may or may not be suppressed by high gasoline costs. But the lifestyles and nutrition of the poor and working poor most certainly are.
Some may find my comparison unfortunate, a misuse of points made in one arena might not be welcome in another. In my view when few dollars make all the difference, the cause needs to be looked at just with or without the attached electoral controversy. After all the impact of an election on a poor family may likely be a trifle as compared to the daily costs of living as exaggerated by high gasoline costs. Every day they drive.
There’s an unusual new entry to the long list of reasons why Californians spent the last year paying significantly more for gasoline than other U.S. drivers: a mystery ship.
The explosion at Exxon Mobil’s huge Torrance refinery a year ago undoubtedly was a major factor contributing to high gasoline prices in California, especially in the Los Angeles area, fuel experts have said.
Consumer advocates contend that the oil company could have done more to bolster gasoline inventories and help lower prices, and on Monday they backed up the argument with the help of a wandering oil tanker.
SR American Progress, an Exxon Mobil ship, sailed for 70 days off the coast of Singapore but never picked up fuel for California from the company’s two refineries in Singapore that produce the state’s special blend of environmentally friendly gasoline. Jamie Court, president of advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog, told the state Petroleum Market Advisory Board that the ship stopped in Los Angeles after its Southeast Asia excursion but didn’t unload any gasoline before taking its fuel to Florida.