California files lawsuit to remain a National Security Risk

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By Ronald Stein

Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

California has chosen to be the only state in America that imports most of its oil needs from foreign countries and relies on the U.S. Navy to pay a steep price keeping an aircraft carrier with escorts on station to deter attacks on oil tanker traffic operating in and around the Persian Gulf.

The state of California is suing President Donald Trump’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in an attempt to block the opening of more than 1 million acres of public land to oil and gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Conservation groups sued BLM over a California fracking plan that would allow drilling and fracking on public lands across eight counties in California’s Central Valley and Central Coast: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura.

Regarding the crude oil demands for the state. there are scary similarities between Governor Newsom’s goals for California and Vladimir Putin’s objectives. Both support California being more and more dependent on imported foreign oil, and both support anti-fracking in California. Obviously, any successful fracking enterprise would lessen the states’ dependency on that foreign oil. Does the Governor know his actions are supportive of California’s 5th largest economy in the world being a National Security risk to America?

California and Hawaii are the only two states who cannot participate in the sharing of excess oil the U.S. is producing and being enjoyed by the other 48 states. Hawaii is a true island, but California is an energy island, as the Sierra Mountains are a natural barrier that prevents the state from pipeline access to any of that excess oil. Hawaii is a different story altogether so let’s focus on California.

The Golden State’s position on crude oil production fits right in with Putin’s goal to control energy. Russia is adamantly against U.S. fracking efforts and very supportive of any environmentalist group or wealthy individual efforts to slow or stop crude oil and natural gas exploration and production within the U.S. and European borders. Recently a Russian funded environmental group gave millions to anti-fracking groups to stop, curtail or severely weaken US fracking of crude oil and natural gas in states like Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

California’s love of foreign crude oil is obvious. According to the Energy Information Administration, except for California which remains as the only state that imports most of its crude oil from foreign countries, the nation reduced imports and is now a net exporter of crude oil. In 1992 CA and AK accounted for 95% of the state’s demand for crude oil, today CA and AK account for a lowly 43% with the balance of 57% from foreign countries. California increased imports from foreign countries from 5 percent to 57 percent of total consumption. The imported crude oil cost California more than $60 million dollars a day being paid to oil-rich foreign countries, depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities.

In addition to the anti-fracking position of the state, are seriously considering Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi), “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions,” which would require, commencing January 1, 2020, all new oil and gas development outside federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet (nearly half a mile) from any residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. The bill would define re-drilling of a previously plugged and abandoned well, or other rework operations, as a new development.

There are more than 8,000 active or newly permitted oil and gas wells located within a 2,500’ buffer of sensitive sites, that represents about 30% of the 30,000 active wells in California. These setbacks would further reduce California crude oil production to the point that the foreign imports needed to make up for the in-state reduction would drive up the monthly cost to more than $80 million dollars a day being sent to oil rich foreign countries, at current crude oil pricing.

In pursuit of going green at any cost, like Germany does, California continues to decease its in-state crude oil production and its in-state electricity generation. The states’ dependency of foreign countries for crude oil, and dependency on other states for electricity is accelerating.

Obviously, our California leaders have limited knowledge that electricity cannot exist without fossil fuels as all the parts for wind and solar renewables are made with fossil fuels. Noticeable by their absence from turbines and solar panels, are those crude oil chemicals and by-products that account for everything in our society and supports the militaries, aviation, merchant ships, and all the transportation infrastructures needed by commerce around the world.

Ronald Stein, P.E.
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure
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57 thoughts on “California files lawsuit to remain a National Security Risk

  1. Why we care if the Middle East can export their oil is beyond me. Higher oil-costs mean more local development and profits. If California faces total economic ruin, they might come around to figuring out that energy independence is a good thing.

    Countries that actually NEED Middle East oil can pay for it’s protection. It’s not like the Middle East had our backs in the 1970’s. Let France and Germany patrol the straights…Great Britain can buy directly from the U.S.

    • Robert, The Middle East isn’t a country it is a Region with many different governments some of these governments are friendly to us and some are hostile towards the United States. The problem is a multi-pronged global political problem and not easily understood when you lump individual countries, with hostilities between each other and oil interests at stake, together, as if they are all the same.

      • Amen, Robert of Texas.
        Despite what Bill Powers says, the USA does no longer strategically needs large scale petroleum products from the Persian/Arabian Gulf. The conflicts of that region have driven geopolitics for most of my adult life. It would be absolutely fantastic to see many of the protagonists swimming in an economic ocean without US warships there to ensure the safety they won’t ensure themselves.

        The UK can trust the US as an oil supplier rather more than we can trust most nations (Norway is pretty good. They also still send us a Christmas tree every December). One day we may even trust ourselves again to start properly drilling in the identified deep-shale reserves.

      • No I was not linking just active oil wells. I was linking to the general map with color coding so the reader could see both active oil, gas and idle and capped wells.

        • Interesting, you said at 11:17 am

          “Welcome to the 3000+ active oil wells in Los Angeles”

          And then you say at 12:42 pm:

          “No I was not linking just active oil wells”

          Are you slightly confused, or is there some other explanation? Resetting the filer on your link yields approx 200 “active” oil wells, not 3000+.

          Jack

          • Filtering down to just active wells, that map gets you probably about 200 in just the Inglewood section. Believe it or not, there is about 3,000 (est.) active wells in LA, Cali.

            https://la.curbed.com/maps/oil-los-angeles-drill-sites-offshore

            ” The city grew up alongside the oil industry and continues to be shaped by it—about 3,000 active wells remain in LA County, many of them in close proximity to residential neighborhoods, parks, and schools. “

      • I would suspect either the wells were there long before a particular well site became school property or early school administrators looked at it as a money making venture for their district.

  2. …the Sierra Mountains are a natural barrier that prevents the state [CA] from pipeline access to any of that excess oil.

    Not true. Kinder Morgan’s CALNEV Pipeline already goes from LA to LV.

    • I believe the CALNEV pipeline only carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. No crude oil is transported thru it.

      • Agreed but the point was that there are no barriers (as asserted) to east-west to-from California for liquids and gases. Frankly it makes more sense to refine and pipe rather than pipe and then refine.

        • Rob_Dawg
          If memory serves me right, the high point of the Sierra Nevada (14,500′) is in the middle of the state and there are are low passes at the south end. One does not have to go up to seven or eight thousand feet as at Donner ‘Pass.’ If pipelines are brought in at the southern part of the state, then one still has to get across the Transverse Range at a mere 1,500′ at the Grapevine Pass, but it is a very steep descent, with expensive construction. It is not an insurmountable barrier, but sufficient to increase costs.

        • Rob_Dawg, just try to get a pipeline project approved anywhere in the US, let alone in CA. then get back to us in 10 years on what progress you (haven’t) made in getting it approved and built.

          That said, with todays tech, mountains shouldn’t be as much of a barrier as they were in the past. It probably isn’t that technologically difficult to bore and pipe a hole straight through the mountain.

          • They could run an oil pipeline from the Permian along Interstate 10 to Southern California. They would need to blend it with heavy crude or reconfigure the refineries to process light crude.

  3. This reminds me of the pipeline dispute between Alberta and British Columbia (BC).

    The ever-so-green NDP government in BC is blocking a pipeline to take Alberta crude to tidewater. Alberta threatened to turn off the taps on the pipes that supply BC with fossil fuels. BC squealed like a stuck pig. link

    Unless the hypocrites who want to block energy projects are willing to do without fossil fuels, they should be forced to shut up. Why should California be able to finance people who hate our guts by buying their oil? Turn off the taps I say.

  4. Something you won’t hear from the eco extremists. The Central Coast, Ventura to SLO counties see far less tar washing up on the beaches than before offshore oil extraction began.

    Then there are the undersea gas hydrates. We haven’t even begun to exploit those. Kalifornia is just turning a weird form of Luddite Socialist. We pay $1/gal more for fuel that has less energy content and our roads are are terrible. What little there are. LA congested? They only built half the freeway system that was designed for half the current population. Of course it is congested. Real eco warriors would be screaming for efficient roads.

    • “Then there are the undersea gas hydrates. We haven’t even begun to exploit those.”

      Trump mentioned gas hydrates yesterday at Davos, along with advanced nuclear as future sources of power.

      • On another thread, Dave Middleton mentioned that the economics regarding gas hydrates is currently unfavorable by about a factor of 10, IIRC.

        • Trump said something about “new technology development” with regard to hydrates and advanced nuclear. He gave the impression that there would be news about these subjects in the near future. Or at least, that’s the impression I got. He seemed to be talking about something specific.

    • One of the early sea explorers, I don’t remember which Cook(?) possibly, recorded a sheen on the water in Santa Barbara Bay. Pismu, as in Pismo Beach, in native Chumash language means “tar.”

  5. Pipelines could easily be run through El Paso -> Las Cruces -> Tuscon -> El Centro and then up the coast line. The elevation differences would be no more difficult than getting pipelines up to Denver. In fact, there is a pipeline that takes that route.
    Personally I think we should pull our Navy out of the Middle East. I’m sure that California would adapt.

  6. An aircraft carrier, huh?
    The U.S. 5th fleet is based in Bahrain. To say that we are there because we need to import oil is really, really stupid.

    WUWT has some brilliant stuff sometimes…. other times it’s mind-boggling stupidity.

    • Hmmm, I wonder why the 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain?

      I don’t suppose it has anything to do with maintaining continuity of the oil supply. /sarc

    • From the USNI, Nov. 29, 2019:
      “The Navy pays a steep price keeping an aircraft carrier with escorts on station to deter attacks on oil tanker traffic operating in and around the Persian Gulf as part of the United States’ “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, according to a new report.”

  7. From the article: “The imported crude oil cost California more than $60 million dollars a day being paid to oil-rich foreign countries, depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities.”

    Yes, that’s $60 million per day that California could be spending in California on Californians. That’s a lot of money California is throwing away every day instead of recirculating that money within the California economy.

    Liberals don’t know anything about economics. All they know how to do is waste money.

    • They hate their own working class population. That’s who she was referring to as deplorable and irredeemable and who Joe Biden referred to as dregs and said they can learn to program. This enormously benefits the average blue collar Californian, but techies and movie stars or any other young urban progressional could care less about it. They have enough money to not really be affected by $4.50 gas.

  8. These people just don’t think. They aren’t burning any less oil, just less of their own. It seems contradictory that they would ban the production of their own oil and then import foreign oil to take its place.

    If the idea is to “save the planet” by “fighting global warming” then wouldn’t restricting or banning outright the use of oil, coal and gas within the state be the way to go? A good first step would be to ban unnecessary use, especially the use of private jets, and any recreational use of fossil fuels. Makes a lot more sense than restricting domestic production and then making up the difference with imports.

    (Not holding my breath.)

  9. Another oil advocate who totally ignores the fact that nuclear would be a far better option for all of us. Follow the money.

    • How about we really follow the money and let the market decide? Nuclear has its own share of subsidy problems. And nuclear doesn’t address the transportation role that oil almost exclusively fills.

      Kill all subsidies and mandates and let people decide for themselves.

    • Nextgen nuclear is the future, not the present. If everyone was enthusiastically supporting nuclear, it would take 10-15 years for that energy to make a significant impact in our needs. Since they are generations of people brainwashed into being terrified of nuclear energy, it will likely be be 30-50 years before it is a major producer of electricity. Even then, we will still need fossil fuels and a lot of them.

      Being pro nuclear is great, but being pro oil is pragmatic. We need done right now and both in the future.

  10. Keep in mind that California has their Low Carbon Fuel Standard that values CO2 at >$200/MT. They pay outrageous prices for fuels that have “low Carbon Content”. Case in point is “Renewable Natural Gas”, RNG. Take cow poop, digest it anaerobically to produce methane, and give the producer $75/MMBtu for the gas which has a market value today of <$2/MMBtu. Now that is "Saving The Planet", and making dairy farmers rich. Revenue is about $1000/cow/year. Probably the largest dairy located in Indiana milks 30,000 head of cattle a year. They produce RNG and put it in a pipeline that "Could" deliver it to California. And California pays them LCFS credits for the RNG even though it will never reach the state.
    One might call this insanity, but remember, California is singlehandedly saving the plant from CAGW and the catastrophes caused by it.
    They should be praised!

  11. Isn’t the oil from fracking very light and requires to go overseas for refining as it requires installations the US doesn’t have and what does that do for the import/export figures?

    Can’t remember where I heard that it was of a type that required such specialist treatment so it’s purely a question I could be miles out.

    • It’s generally light but doesn’t need to be shipped overseas for refining once processes are modified or implemented to handle it. It tends to be waxy but also low in sulfur which is desirable.

      Some people are anti-fracking and they will through out all kinds of arguments against it.

  12. Maybe rational energy policy is not possible in the context of AGW activism against fossil fuels that has been sold to voters with sufficient success to create a political advantage for AGWGreenness.

  13. The California State Legislature (being wholly control by Democrats for many decades) is the main political power in California. They will never admit they are wrong, they will never change, they will instead blame everyone else for their failures. I don’t know what the remedy is for California, they are like a crazy person who believes they can fly.

  14. So, if a scientist or a blogger report favorably on the oil industry, they are labeled as being in the pockets of Big Oil.
    From the article:
    ” Recently a Russian funded environmental group gave millions to anti-fracking groups to stop, curtail or severely weaken US fracking of crude oil and natural gas”

    So can I safely state that enviro-groups are in the pocket of Big Russia? Putin’s Puppets?

    Some of them might consider that a compliment. It wasn’t a compliment when one late night talk show host made a derogatory comment on Pres. Trump and Putin, something in reference to a ‘Holster’, I’ll leave it there, trying to keep this ‘Family Friendly’.

  15. While the argument is valid, the English composition is terrible. It reads as though written by a foreigner. –AGF

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