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Big oil launches Twitter attack on ARB regarding Cap and Trade program

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Big oil has taken to social media to challenge California authorities to explain recent statements related to climate change regulations. In a series of several "tweets" on social media site Twitter yesterday and today, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) accused staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) of misleading the public about how transportation fuels, consumers, and businesses will be affected by the state's Cap and Trade program.

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The flurry of tweets was sent by Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of WSPA. She asked ARB to explain several specific items that have been in the news lately that seemed to imply that Cap and Trade would have minimal new effects on transportation fuels. The tweets appear to be directly related to an August 1, 2014, letter sent by Reheis-Boyd to ARB Chair Mary Nichols.

In the tweets, Reheis-Boyd appeared to question whether ARB had done its homework or even understood what its staff was saying publicly. She asked if ARB had considered impacts to consumers, manufacturers, and businesses that rely on current transportation fuels. She also challenged an ARB staffer's statement that there will be "no discernible increases" in fuel prices by saying ARB's own economic analysis says something else. Finally, she asked why ARB staff has claimed that the impacts won't be felt until 2018 when the regulations themselves say 2015.

WSPA is concerned that the impacts from applying cap and trade to transportation fuels have not been explained to the public, may be too costly, and should be delayed or revised for several years until questions can be clarified and the effects on markets can be more accurately determined.

WSPA is a non-profit trade association whose members explore for, produce, refine, transport, and/or market petroleum in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Headquartered in Sacramento, it has branch offices across the state, including Bakersfield, which is a major hub for oil exploration in the state.