What could possibly be worse than the 10.2% nationwide unemployment we recently highlighted? How about the jobless rates of 11% in Florida, 12.2% in California, and a staggering 15.3% in Michigan?
If you didn’t think Michigan had a big part in the debate over domestic fuel production, think again. The state, which has been bleeding jobs, faces even more economic devastation if a low carbon fuel standard is adopted.
As we’ve outlined previously on this blog, a low carbon fuel standard ostensibly designed to reduce emissions, would actually play out with many unintended consequences. They would favor many types of foreign oil over those located in the U.S. and the Canada – not because Saudi fuel is cleaner fuel, but because it takes less energy to get out of the ground. Factor in the cost of transporting all that light, sweet crude oil halfway around the world, and you have a low carbon fuel standard in name only.
Now, back to Michigan. One of the industries that hasn’t fled the state is an oil refinery in Detroit, which refines fuel from nearby Canada. Heavy fuel, that is, which would not pass muster under new low carbon fuel standards.
This recent editorial in the Detroit News outlined the problem:
“In Detroit, the Marathon refinery produces nearly 100,000 barrels of affordable, reliable fuel a day, and provides thousands of jobs that support families, pay pensions, and provide good-quality health care…. As complex and convoluted a plan as a low-carbon fuel system is, the negative impact it would have on our country’s economic and strategic well-being is simple to understand. The low-carbon fuel proposal is engineered to produce higher prices at the pump, higher unemployment … and expanded dependence on foreign, unstable regimes.”
And further south, residents in Tennessee are also concerned, not just by what a low-carbon fuel standard will mean for their local economy, but by the seemingly arbitrary standards by which fuels would be in or out.
“Fuels are assigned a carbon energy ‘score,’ based on the energy required to bring them to market,” explains this editorial. “The U.S. would be forced to rely on lighter crude from the Middle East.”
“A low carbon fuel standard will also result in volatile gas and commodity prices, the loss of U.S. refinery and pipeline jobs, and an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions.”
That’s right. As we’ve also pointed out here, emissions know no borders. Nor does a balanced energy policy. We’re working on behalf not just of the oil rich states but of the country as a whole, and we’re happy to see that our message resonates widely.