Sep 26, 2023

New data released by the California Energy Commission illustrate just how backwards the Golden State’s energy policy priorities have become under Governor Newsom.

Consider the following two facts:

  • Foreign oil imports to California jumped more than 33% from 2020 to 2022.
  • Over the same period, in-state oil production fell more than 20%.

Indeed, while California covered 34.9% of its oil demands through in-state production in 2020, Newsom’s policies drove that figure down to just 25.9% last year, forcing the state to import more than 840,000 barrels of oil from overseas each day to meet basic energy needs.

Why is Newsom so focused on eliminating California’s oil production capacities when the world’s fourth largest economy still demands more than 500 million barrels of it each year?

As California transitions to a cleaner energy economy over the next several decades, wouldn’t it make sense to reduce foreign imports before local, in-state production?

The governor’s desire to move California away from oil is well known. But even the most aggressive energy transition should still be grounded in basic realities and pragmatism.

After all, even President Biden understands our current energy realities, recognizing explicitly in recent months that “if we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply right now,” and “we’re going to need oil for at least another decade … and beyond.”

Newsom, meanwhile, appears to reject these basic ideas. “We don’t see oil in our future,” Newsom declared in October 2021 in the face of multiple forecasts which clearly showed otherwise.

Unfortunately for Californians, the governor’s energy obstinance has consequences. On top of paying some of the highest and most volatile energy costs in the country, the governor’s crusade to eliminate much-needed in-state oil production is turning what could be a responsible, orderly energy transition into a politicized charade.

The fact that foreign oil imports are up and domestic production is down confirms that Newsom’s energy strategy (of lack thereof) is failing. Californians are suffering the consequences – and foreign regimes halfway around the world are stepping in to reap the benefits.