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.