It’s not often that we get to talk about positive aspects of the California state government, but at least for now, we need to sing the praises of the California Energy Commission (CEC).

The subject of our hymn is the fact that the California diesel supply is steadily increasing while many other parts of the nation are warning of declining supplies of the precious fuel for trucking and construction. The warnings at press time include sirens blaring supply shortages measured in mere weeks, in days in some cases.

There are several reasons for the steady California steady state, not the least of which is the fact that our state is a fuel island, with next to no oil products entering the state from outside its borders. What we produce is remarkably balanced by what we need according to CEC data (see chart below).

Whether it’s a benefit or not depends on where you are on the cost side of diesel. If you are a trucker of contractor the highest-in-the-nation cost of diesel is a bad thing, unless you consider you can at least buy it—to the joy of state-based oil producers, who work hard to make sure they can continue to manufacture the stuff.

In other “good” news, there is a weakening in the retail price of diesel in the Golden state, dropping $0.69 per gallon during November and December to $5.42 per gallon.

Another questionable benefit from the point of view of both buyers and sellers is that a big driver in that cost is that diesel sold in this state must meet the exacting standards of the California Air Resources Board, but it does keep our more expensive diesel from being shipped out to most other states, which is a good thing.

By Dave Sorem, P.E. ECA Government Affairs Chairman email: [email protected]