The Energy Commission is updating its emergency planning documents and protocols for responding to a catastrophe that impacts fuel supplies. Details about the update will be noticed.

The Energy Commission follows the policies outlined in the State of California Emergency Plan. The focus will be on supporting emergency service activities in the event of a catastrophe. The Energy Commission no longer accepts direct fuel request applications. All requests during a catastrophe must follow the procedures in the plan. The Petroleum Fuels Set-Aside Program Applicant Handbook - Application for Emergency Fuels Allocation no longer applies.

The Governor activates the Petroleum Fuels Set-Aside Program. The program is triggered when voluntary conservation, market forces, or other mandatory programs cannot supply fuel for disaster response. The program ensures fuel is available to emergency responders during a severe shortage or catastrophe. A catastrophe, such as an earthquake, may make it hard for emergency responders to obtain fuel. This fuel is needed to safeguard the lives, safety, and property of Californians. The program allows the Energy Commission to direct petroleum production and storage facilities to hold petroleum as needed. All petroleum production and storage facilities in California are subject to this program.         

The program is intended to cause minimal interference with market operations. The program sets aside a percentage or a set volume of in-state inventory to meet emergency needs. The program is not intended to reduce, influence, or inhibit the market price discovery of transportation fuels. The State of California makes no guarantee for payment and does not act as surety for payment. All fuel redirected through the program is to be purchased at the going market price under arrangements determined by the purchasing entity (for example, emergency service providers) and petroleum supplier.

The program supports emergency response activities during a shortage or disaster. Fuel is held and diverted at the Energy Commission’s judgment, in coordination with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The fuel is used for disaster mitigation activities. More information is available in the Fuels Set-Aside Program fact sheet and the Response to Energy Emergencies in California and Contingency Planning webpage.

Federal Resources

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an extensive list of resources. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response has information on state and local energy assurance planning. The National Association of State Energy Officials has information on energy assurance planning .

California Resources

The Cal OES Planning and Preparedness Branch develops and maintains state-level emergency plans and guidance that engage the community by using an all-hazards planning process that represents stakeholders from the community, local and state government leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

Supplementary resources and information are in the State of California Energy Assurance Plan and on the Energy Commission’s Response to Energy Emergencies in California and Contingency Planning webpage.

Justin Cochran, Ph.D.
Senior Nuclear Policy Advisor and Emergency Coordinator
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street

Sacramento, CA 95814
Office: 916-657-4353
Fax: 916-654-4475


Ryan Eggers
Supervisor, Transportation Fuels Data Unit
Data Policy & Integration Office


Energy Emergencies in California and Contingency Planning