Unraveling Ties to Petroleum: How Policy Drives California's Demand for Oil

June 20, 2013
Juan Matute and Stephanie Pincetl, UCLA

new study highlights the connection between seemingly unconnected policies and the Golden Stateʼs demand for oil

California policies that have seemingly little to no connection to petroleum use actually provide incentives that drive demand for oil use artificially high in the state. Fifteen such policies are identified in Next 10's new report authored by UCLA experts.

Petroleum accounts for the greatest total share of Californiaʼs energy demand, supplying 43.7 percent of our energy needs. The report consists of 15 separate policy briefs that focus on policies affecting Californiaʼs transportation sector. The transportation sector accounts for nearly 40 percent of the stateʼs energy consumption.

Policies that govern how parking spaces are created and subsidized, how road space is allocated, how local governments fund infrastructure needed for infill development, and how automobile insurers charge premiums were found to be the most impactful in terms of driving petroleum demand in California. By addressing these policies, California could reduce future petroleum use by at least 25 percent.