Sep 02, 2021

Californians for Energy Independence (CEI) has a message for the “out of touch Sacramento politicians” who are “pushing to shut down our local oil and gas production”: Policies have consequences. 

In a new 30-second TV ad, CEI argues that policies shutting down in-state oil production lead directly to more foreign oil imports and “higher gas prices … hurting working families who are already struggling to get by.”

Since 1985, oil production in California has fallen more than 50%, helping deliver the nation’s highest gas prices by far. The statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded now sits at $4.41 – a 40% markup on the national average – and prices in some areas have recently jumped toward $6.00 per gallon.

Given its production declines, the state has been forced to increasingly rely on expensive foreign oil imports from halfway around the world to meet demand. California now imports more than 70% of the oil it needs each day to power the world’s fifth largest economy.

Policies banning production statewide would translate into an additional 160 million barrels of oil imports to California annually, requiring expensive port expansions and refinery upgrades that would lead to even higher gas prices. An analysis released by the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California earlier this year found gas prices would increase a minimum of $1.70 per gallon under a statewide shutdown, and “could briefly soar by $10 dollars or more per gallon” if foreign supply challenges emerge after shutdown policies are implemented.

The CEI ad recognizes that California is transitioning to a cleaner energy economy, but the state cannot allow energy policies to jump ahead of its energy reality. California still demands massive amounts of oil to fuel transportation, provide reliable electricity to the grid, grow and transport food, power businesses that provide jobs, and produce thousands of consumer products that make our lives possible.

The consequences of production shutdown policies are clear. Those who push to end oil production in California are pushing for more foreign oil and even higher fuel costs for working families.