May 19, 2021

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Representatives From The Fuel Industry In Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, Warn TCI Will Cause Shortages and Gasoline Hoarding

“It’s mathematically verifiable. A shortage will happen based on numbers from the Federal Government which supports it.” 

~Chris Herb, President of Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA)

Hartford, CT: In a united front, representatives from regional trade groups representing gasoline distributors, convenience stores, and heating fuel retailers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, sounded the alarm today during a press conference that The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) will lead to significant fuel shortages in the region if it is implemented based on a new analysis which used data provided by the Federal Government demonstrating that demand will outstrip supply. 

“It’s mathematically verifiable,” said Chris Herb, President of Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA), a trade group organization, which represents 1000 fuel distributors, gas stations and convenience store owners in Connecticut. “The data clearly demonstrates that a gasoline and diesel fuel shortage will happen based on numbers from the Federal Government.” 

CEMA’s analysis used Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections for fuel demand, as well as TCI’s proposed “cap” which would limit the amount of fuel that could be sold over a 10-year period. [EIA is part of The U.S. Department of Energy.] CEMA’s analysis shows that by the third year, the fuel shortage in Connecticut would be about 41 million gallons. By the tenth year of TCI, Connecticut would be short more than 360 million gallons of fuel.

Supporters of TCI are banking on the idea that more people will work from home in three years or buy electric vehicles,” Herb said. “However, the Federal Government states that the transition to EVs will be slow, and just hoping more people work from home is not a solid plan. We could see people hoarding gasoline, and long lines at the pumps like we saw in the 1970s, or just recently in the southeastern part of the country.”

The bottom line is this: TCI will reduce fuel supply by 30% over 10 years while EIA’s model shows a 6.32% decline in demand over the same period.

Herb was joined by other trade industry representatives from Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, who also voiced serious concerns about TCI and the fuel shortages it would create in their states.

“Limiting the number of gallons of fuel that can be sold will only leave businesses and consumers short of the fuel they need to live,” said Diane Quesnelle from the Energy Marketers Association of Rhode Island. (EMARI) “In my state, TCI would create a fuel shortage of 39 million gallons in the first year, rising to more than 131 million gallons by 2032.” 

Quesnelle said TCI would negatively impact other industries as well. 

“How will a family owned business make a heating fuel delivery if there is not enough diesel fuel available?” Quesnelle went on to say. “How will a service technician respond to a no heat call if there is not enough gasoline for their van to fill up? And the vehicles that are able to obtain fuel will do so at a higher price, as supply and demand economics kick in resulting in prices spike. Who pays for that cost – you got it, consumers!”

In Massachusetts, the numbers are also alarming. Brian Moran from the New England’s Convenience Stores and Energy Marketers Association (NECSEMA) said TCI would cause a 150 million gallon shortfall in the first year and 843 million gallon shortfall in year ten.

“After careful, open-minded consideration and attendance at countless webinars, town halls, and private meetings, we cannot find a pathway to be supportive of TCI in any form,” Moran said. “Our determination is the program offers poor climate-mitigation value, is opaque, overly complex, and burdensome to industry stakeholders, and risks localized price spikes and supply outages.” 

Although the new analysis doesn’t project fuel shortages in Connecticut until the third year, in practice, Herb said it could happen much sooner.  

“Think about it,” said Herb. “If you know you’ll have fewer gallons of fuel, wouldn’t you want to stock up right away? That way you know you have it before it becomes difficult to buy. It is not a stretch to think that hoarding will occur. This will cause shortages and prices spikes. Think of people hoarding toilet paper during the pandemic, the same will happen here.”

Quesnelle said TCI would hurt consumers in her state of Rhode Island.

“There are available solutions that do not cause fuel shortages, panic buying, and price spikes,” Quesnelle said. “Using low carbon liquid fuels and increasing federal vehicle mile standards are proven to reduce emissions without causing consumers pain.” 

Moran said Massachusetts, which has the most to lose in regards to fuel supply, must look for something other than TCI.

“We are not opposed to sensible approaches to reduce transportation emissions,” Moran said. “We are not against transitioning toward electric vehicles either. We do object, however, to how TCI proposes to do that.”

To see the full analysis and data click here. (please link to documents) ,