Bending to pressure from the same radical activist groups, Governor Newsom and President Biden have pursued similar energy policies since taking office.
In California, despite shutdown proposals being rejected by the state legislature in each session of his tenure, Newsom has decided to unilaterally push ahead. Earlier this year, the governor directed CalGEM to blindly refuse all new hydraulic fracturing permits, reducing in-state energy production and devastating the economies of energy-producing regions.
President Biden has followed a similar path, cutting permits for oil and gas production on federal lands by 75% since taking office. His administration is also working to squeeze oil producers in other ways, raising the costs of doing business through new rules and regulations.
The result of these policies has been swift and clear: U.S. oil production has fallen more than 10% from pre-pandemic levels, enough to help prompt a global supply crunch and send prices skyrocketing.
- Nationally, the cost of a gallon of gas has reached nearly $3.42 per gallon, up more than $1.30 over a year ago, and federal agencies have warned that household heating bills could jump 50% compared to last winter.
- In California, Newsom’s longstanding anti-oil crusade has helped push gas prices to an average of $4.70 per gallon, the highest in the nation by far. This comes on top of the state’s highest-in-the-nation utility bills which force consumers and businesses to pay tens of billions more for electricity than the rest of the country each year.
To his credit, President Biden has on some level recognized the crisis at hand. While Biden has tried to erroneously blame oil companies for rising prices (a charge experts dismiss as a distraction), his administration has sought to raise production in the near-term to address the supply crunch.
At a press conference after G-20 meetings in Rome, Biden explained his calls for greater oil production by saying that he is worried about surging energy costs hurting working class families. He also argued that the economy will still rely on oil for the foreseeable future: “Everyone knows that idea that we’re going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight … it’s just not rational.”
Meanwhile – either unaware or uncaring of ongoing affordability challenges for everyday Californians – Governor Newsom has doubled down on his failing energy policies, announcing aims to shut down in-state production even further amidst the supply crunch.
Announcing the new proposal, Newsom ignored cost concerns and stubbornly declared: “We don’t see oil in our future.”
Unfortunately for California families and businesses, dreams of an oil-free future still decades away won’t address skyrocketing prices under Newsom’s failing energy policies today.