Evaluating BCG’s Report: Understanding the Impacts of AB32

May 2013

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers contracted with the Policy Institute to facilitate an expert evaluation of the report “Understanding the Impacts of AB32” and the subsequent analysis “BCG and CARB LCFS Models: Review of impact of assumptions in three different areas”. These original reports were funded by WSPA and produced by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The stated scope and goals of the BCG report are as follows:

“We analyzed the likely impact of AB32 fuels policies on emissions and refining economics using proprietary BCG models. We then developed a framework to assess how these changes are likely to impact California’s economy along key dimensions including employment, government revenues, and GHG emissions.”

The Policy Institute coordinated the input of recognized experts in the fields listed below to evaluate this report and assess the degree to which the report is scientifically sound, accurately analyzes the topic, and successfully represents the project’s stated objectives. Consistent with typical reviews, it provides recommendations for additional information and analyses meant to inform the discussion and was not intended to provide alternative analyses or solutions.

Reviewer’s areas of expertise:

  • Energy Economics: Microeconomics and macroeconomics focusing on transportation fuels sector including regulatory impacts on fuels markets, costs, labor, GDP, trade flows, etc.
  • Refinery Economics and Emissions: refinery operations and emissions and techno-economic potential for emissions reduction opportunities.
  • Alternative Fuels Markets: Understanding of the current status and likely evolution of the technical and economic potential for low-carbon fuel and vehicle options including biofuels, natural gas, electric and hydrogen vehicles.
  • Climate Policy: Knowledge of relevant state and federal fuels regulations including LCFS, RFS, Cap-and-Trade, Clean Fuels Outlet, and compliance options and strategies for meeting those regulations.

Final Documents

Expert Evaluation of BCG Report

BCG was invited to provide a response to the evaluation, which is available here. They also provided a model update available here.

Expert Reviewers

  • John Weyant (chair of reviewers), Stanford University
  • Bruce Babcock, Iowa State University
  • Dallas Burtraw, Resources for the Future
  • David Greene, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Amy Myers Jaffe, University of California, Davis
  • Chris Knittel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Richard Newell, Duke University
  • David Roland-Holst, University of California, Berkeley