Jun 20, 2024

Governor Newsom may be one of President Biden’s biggest cheerleaders on the campaign trail, but new data shows the two leaders couldn’t be more different on the question of oil production. 

National data shows a stunning increase in oil production over the past two decades. As J.P. Morgan’s 14th annual energy report notes:

“U.S. net crude imports are down 75% from the 2005 peak, and net refined product imports of 4 million barrels per day in 2005 flipped to net exports of 4 million barrels per day of refined products by 2019.”

With the U.S. becoming a net exporter of oil and natural gas, the J.P. Morgan analysis declared:

“The U.S. has achieved energy independence for the first time in 40 years while Europe and China compete for global energy resources.”

Even Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a frequent critic of the president, has recognized the success of booming U.S. energy production under Biden’s watch:

“I’m going to do something you probably haven’t heard me do much in the past three years: I want to congratulate President Biden for the record-breaking energy production we are seeing in America today. The United States is producing more oil, gas, and renewable energy than ever before. We are exporting more fossil fuel energy than we import. Our country has never been more energy-independent than we are today. This is something to celebrate.”

Unfortunately, however, California has chosen the opposite path, preferring to shut down in-state oil production and instead rely on foreign oil imports for basic energy needs.

New California Energy Commission data shows that the state only met 23.4% of its oil needs through in-state production last year – a record low. To make up for the declining in-state production, the Golden State purchased more than 875,000 barrels per day from foreign producers.

In sum, 60.7% of California’s oil supply came from overseas in 2023 – a new high. At an average cost of $83 per barrel, California spent $26.6 billion for foreign oil last year.

Overall, while oil production is booming across the rest of the U.S., it has fallen by a third in California under Governor Newsom.

The divergence has striking implications. A Newsweek report notes that “energy independence means America is less likely to suffer from shortages of fossil fuels and price rises due to fluctuations in international markets.”

Meanwhile, California’s preference for foreign oil dependence leaves the state exposed to even slight disruptions in the global oil supply chain – and at a time of constant geopolitical turmoil, no less.