Recognizing the need for more oil supply as gas prices soared this summer, the Biden Administration authorized the release of 180 million barrels of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve – the nation’s stockpile intended for emergency supply interruptions.
In contrast, basic economics continue to be disregarded in California, where Governor Newsom’s energy policies have steadily reduced production of crude oil despite skyrocketing gas prices.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California averaged 440,000 barrels of crude production per day in 2018, the final year of Governor Brown’s tenure. Since Newsom was inaugurated in January 2019, the state’s production has averaged just 385,000 barrels per day. Production in recent months has fallen to as low as 330,000 barrels per day.
Newsom’s energy policies have cost the state more than 75 million barrels of oil production – equivalent to over 42% of the emergency stockpile releases under President Biden.
In short, the baffling split-screen of U.S. energy policy continues.
On one hand, the federal administration views high gas prices driven by a lack of oil supply to be such a threat that it is willing to drain the nation’s emergency stockpile to its lowest level since 1984.
And on the other, Newsom and his allies continue to pursue policies that eliminate oil production in California, costing the state and the country millions of barrels of badly needed supply that could help ease prices at the pump.
If Newsom were serious about lowering gas prices, he’d stop spinning false finger-pointing narratives, listen to the experts, and pursue energy policies that recognize basic economic realities.
Why does Washington keep draining our emergency stockpile when Sacramento could just stop cutting production?