California Energy Commission Letterhead

In the Matter of:

Preparation of the
2009 Integrated Energy Policy Report

Docket No. 09-IEP-1K



Notice of Staff Workshop on Transportation Fuel
Prices and Energy Demand

Documents for Workshop

The California Energy Commission's (Energy Commission) Fuels and Transportation Division will conduct a staff workshop to describe the methods, data, and assumptions, highlighting the transportation fuel price forecasts, to be used to prepare transportation energy demand forecasts for the 2009 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR). The workshop is intended to enable staff to receive input from stakeholders.

Two Energy Commission Committees oversee the work on this subject: the 2009 IEPR Committee, with Commissioner Jeffrey D. Byron as the Presiding Member and Vice Chair James D. Boyd as the Associate Member; and the Transportation Committee, with Vice Chair James D. Boyd as the Presiding Member and Commissioner Karen Douglas as the Associate Member. Other Commissioners may attend and participate in this staff workshop. The workshop will be held:

9 a.m.
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Remote Attendance

Web Conferencing - Presentations and audio from the meeting will be broadcast via our WebEx web conferencing system. For details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the "Participation through WebEx" section at the end of this notice.

Webcast - Presentations and audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet through Windows Media. For details, please go to: []


This workshop will discuss the proposed methods, inputs, and assumptions to be used for developing long-term (through 2030) transportation energy demand forecasts. Staff will present preliminary price forecasts or proposed price forecasting methods for petroleum, renewable, and other alternative transportation fuels. Staff will also discuss work-in-progress, including models and additional inputs and assumptions used to produce transportation energy demand forecasts for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, electricity, hydrogen, liquefied propane gas, 85 percent ethanol-blended gasoline, and biomass-derived diesels. This workshop is designed to receive public input from interested stakeholders on the proposed analyses and related questions and issues and will be used in the development of the 2009 IEPR.


As required by Senate Bill 1389 (Bowen, Chapter 568, Statutes of 2002) the Energy Commission conducts "assessments and forecasts of all aspects of energy industry supply, production, transportation, delivery and distribution, demand, and prices." The Energy Commission uses these assessments and forecasts to develop energy policies that conserve resources, protect the environment, ensure energy reliability, enhance the state's economy, and protect public health and safety. Public Resources Code PRC § 25302(a) and (d) directs the Energy Commission to adopt the IEPR every odd-numbered year and in even-numbered years an energy policy review to update analysis from the previous IEPR or to raise energy issues that have emerged since the previous proceeding.

Summary of Proposed Forecasts and Analyses

The Fossil Fuels Office of the Fuels and Transportation Division develops forecasts and analyses of the transportation fuels industry and related markets. Transportation energy demand and fuel price forecasts support several related energy policy and program activities, including the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (Assembly Bill 118, Nuñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) investment allocation analyses, petroleum use reduction assessments, and transportation fuel infrastructure requirements assessments. Inputs to the demand forecasts include: transportation fuel price forecasts, estimates of base year demand, economic and demographic data and projections, surveys of vehicle purchase and use by residential households and commercial fleets, vehicle registration data, surveys of transit agency fuel demand and fleet composition, and projections of vehicle manufacturer offerings.

Staff will present an overview of the proposed forecasting approach and methods, and preliminary findings for the transportation fuels price forecasts. Staff will discuss current models and methods used in forecasting transportation fuels demand, as well as the work in progress. Discussions will include the ongoing effort to obtain data, such as household and commercial fleet surveys and vehicle attribute projections. Staff invites public comment on both the proposed approaches and suggested alternatives.

Among the questions on which Energy Commission staff request public input are:

  1. What will be average annual long-term prices of crude oil to the state's refiners? To what extent will these long-term oil prices be determined by resource availability, economic conditions, industry investments, currency fluctuations, and the alternative and renewable fuels use? Will crude oil quality and characteristics change over time in ways that may affect fuels production? What sources of long-term crude oil price forecasts are available and what can we conclude about their accuracy?
  2. What will be the average annual long-term petroleum transportation fuel (gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) prices? To what extent will these long-term fuel prices be determined by crude oil prices, national and regional market conditions and demand, regulations, economic and demographic factors, and the use of alternative and renewable fuels? What are the methods that can be used to calculate future petroleum fuel prices and how can we assess their accuracy?
  3. Over the last five years, the retail price of diesel has typically exceeded that of regular gasoline, and this difference appears to be growing with time. What are the factors behind the increasing premium for diesel compared to gasoline? Will this trend continue, level off, or return to a lower historical average?
  4. What are the methods, assumptions, sources of data, and other factors used in estimating average annual long-term prices for compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, electricity, hydrogen, liquefied propane gas, 85 percent ethanol blended gasoline, and biomass-based diesel in transportation applications in California? How will the growth in demand for alternative and renewable fuels influence their prices and their relationship to conventional petroleum fuel prices? To what extent are renewable fuel prices dependent on the future availability of feedstocks? How will alternative and renewable fuels be sold to the general public, as opposed to fleets? What are expectations with regard to refueling site availability, in-home fueling and/or recharging? Will the natural gas and electricity sectors facilitate and incentivize the use of natural gas and electricity as transportation fuels?
  5. How will changes in the regulatory environment influence alternative and renewable transportation fuel demand, supply, and prices? How will the price and consumption of different conventional and alternative fuels be affected by the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other state policies?
  6. What sources of information and estimates are available for current demand and projected growth rates of on-road and off-road uses of gasoline, diesel, and renewable and other alternative fuels? What sources of information and estimates are available for consumption of petroleum-based and alternative fuels in air and rail transportation?
  7. How will future limits on refinery or import terminal capacity or other infrastructure constraints impact transportation fuel prices within California? How will future increases in transportation fuel imports impact retail prices?
  8. In addition to the topics discussed above, what other sources of uncertainty might influence the development and use of transportation fuel demand and price forecasts in the 2009 IEPR? How should the Energy Commission fuel price and demand forecasts account for these uncertainties? A staff paper describing current or proposed work will be released by January 27, 2009. An agenda for the workshop will be posted by February 5, 2009. A second workshop will be held in late March or early April to discuss infrastructure issues affecting transportation fuels supply in California, including methods to estimate fuel import projections and assess infrastructure needs.

Written Comments

Written comments on the workshop topics must be submitted by 5 p.m. on February 20, 2009. Please include the docket number 09-IEP-1K and indicate "2009 IEPR - Transportation Energy Forecasts" in the subject line or first paragraph of your comments. Please hand deliver or mail an original copy to:

California Energy Commission
Dockets Office, MS-4
Re: Docket No. 09-IEP-1K
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

The Energy Commission encourages comments by e-mail. Please include your name or organization in the name of the file. Those submitting comments by electronic mail should provide them in either Microsoft Word format or as a Portable Document (PDF) to []. One paper copy must also be sent to the Energy Commission's Docket Unit.

Participants may also provide an original at the beginning of the workshop. All written materials relating to this workshop will be filed with the Dockets Unit and become part of the public record in this proceeding.

Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser's Office provides the public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you want information on how to participate in this forum, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at []. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days in advance.

Please direct all news media inquiries to the Media and Public Communications Office at (916) 654-4989, or by e-mail at []. If you have questions on the technical subject matter of this forum, please contact Gene Strecker at (916) 654-4537, or by e-mail at []. For general questions regarding the IEPR proceeding, please contact Lynette Esternon Green, IEPR project manager, by phone at (916) 653-2728 or by e-mail at [].

The service list for the 2009 IEPR is handled electronically. Notices and documents for this proceeding are posted to the Energy Commission website at [ gov/2009_energypolicy/index.html]. When new information is posted, an e-mail will be sent to those on the energy policy e-mail list server. We encourage those who are interested in receiving these notices to sign up for the list server through the website [].

Participation through WebEx, the Energy Commission's on-line meeting service

Computer Logon with a Direct Phone Number:

  • Please go to [] and enter the unique meeting number 927 952 996
  • When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password 09IEPR@9
  • After you login, a prompt will appear on-screen for you to provide your phone number. In the Number box, type your area code and phone number and click OK to receive a call back on your phone for the audio of the meeting. International callers can use the "Country/Region" button to help make their connection.

Computer Logon for Callers with an Extension Phone Number, etc.:

  • Please go to [] and enter the unique meeting number 927 952 996
  • When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password 09IEPR@9
  • After you login, a prompt will ask for your phone number. CLICK CANCEL.
  • Instead call 1-866-469-3239 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada). When prompted, enter the meeting number above and your unique Attendee ID number which is listed in the top left area of your screen after you login. International callers can dial in using the "Show all global call-in numbers" link (also in the top left area of your screen).

Telephone Only (No Computer Access):

Call 1-866-469-3239 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada) and when prompted enter the unique meeting number above. International callers can select their number from []

If you have difficulty joining the meeting, please call the WebEx Technical Support number at 1-866-229-3239. Please be aware that the meeting's WebEx audio and on-screen activity may be recorded.

Electronic Mail Lists: energypolicy, transportation

NOTE: California Energy Commission's formal name is State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.