(a) By January 31, 2002, the commission shall examine the feasibility, including possible costs and benefits to consumers and impacts on fuel prices for the general public, of operating a strategic fuel reserve to insulate California consumers and businesses from substantial short-term price increases arising from refinery outages and other similar supply interruptions. In evaluating the potential operation of a strategic fuel reserve, the commission shall consult with other state agencies, including, but not limited to, the State Air Resources Board.
(b) The commission shall examine and recommend an appropriate level of reserves of fuel, but in no event may the reserve be less than the amount of refined fuel that the commission estimates could be produced by the largest California refiner over a two week period. In making this examination and recommendation, the commission shall take into account all of the following:
(1) Inventories of California-quality fuels or fuel components reasonably available to the California market.
(2) Current and historic levels of inventory of fuels.
(3) The availability and cost of storage of fuels.
(4) The potential for future supply interruptions, price spikes, and the costs thereof to California consumers and businesses.
(c) The commission shall evaluate a mechanism to release fuel from the reserve that permits any customer to contract at any time for the delivery of fuel from the reserve in exchange for an equal amount of fuel that meets California specifications and is produced from a source outside of California that the customer agrees to deliver back to the reserve within a time period to be established by the commission, but not longer than six weeks.
(d) The commission shall evaluate reserve storage space from existing facilities.
(e) The commission shall evaluate a reserve operated by an independent operator that specializes in purchasing and storing fuel, and is selected through competitive bidding.
(f) (1)Not later than January 31, 2002, the commission and the State Air Resources Board, in consultation with the other state and local agencies the commission deems necessary, shall develop and adopt recommendations for the Governor and Legislature on a California Strategy to Reduce Petroleum Dependence.
(2) The strategy shall include a base case forecast by the commission of gasoline, diesel, and petroleum consumption in years 2010 and 2020 based on current best estimates of economic and population growth, petroleum base fuel supply and availability, vehicle efficiency, and utilization of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies.
(3) The strategy shall include recommended statewide goals for reductions in the rate of growth of gasoline and diesel fuel consumption and increased transportation energy efficiency and utilization of nonpetroleum based fuels and advanced transportation technologies, including alternative fueled vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and high fuel efficiency vehicles.
(g) The studies required by this section shall be conducted in conjunction with any other studies required by acts enacted during the 2000 portion of the 1999–2000 Regular Session dealing with gasoline prices.