Northern California Record

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CalChamber policy advocate: State's restrictions on oil and gas production has increased reliance on foreign energy

Reform

By Rich Peters | Dec 30, 2019

Oilrig 02

SACRAMENTO – A recent Capitol Insider report from the California Chamber of Commerce notes that the state is relying more on oil from other countries as lawmakers are regulating oil and gas production in the state.

According to the article by Adam Regele, data from the California Energy Commission notes the state imported 370 million barrels in 2018, or 57 percent of the state's crude oil supply. In 1992, the state only imported 33 million barrels.

“Our article made two primary points: that increased restrictions on in-state production has led to increased reliance on foreign energy sources with problematic environmental practices. The second is that increased reliance on renewables and increased targeted shut-down of natural gas has led to potential energy shortfall in 2021,” CalChamber Policy Advocate Leah Silverthorn said in a statement.


CalChamber Policy Advocate Leah Silverthorn | CalChamber

The article notes that the state's 2019-2020 enacted budget focuses on a shift away from fossil fuels and a commitment to a carbon-neutral economy. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation into law in October that adds additional regulations to in-state gas and oil production.

The state's 2018 oil imports came from Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Iraq.

“Banning in-state oil and gas production only to shift suppliers to foreign oil regimes with abysmal environmental and human-rights records fails to address climate change, as all it really does is trade greenhouse gas emissions here in California for greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere,” the article states. “Despite California’s self-proclaimed climate leadership, the state has not figured out how to meet its energy demands with renewable energy sources.”

Silverthorn said the policies may up the cost of business in the state.

“While I can’t really speak to civil litigation, both of these policies have the effect of increasing the already high cost of doing business in California and put our ability to be certain that a reliable source of electricity will be available to run operations in the state,” she said.

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