Senator Grove’s Bill to Prioritize the Production of Oil in California Passes Senate Environmental Quality Committee

Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced that her Senate Bill 1319 has passed unanimously through the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. SB 1319 would implore the Legislature to realize that much of the crude oil imported into California comes from foreign nations with demonstrated human rights abuses, or foreign nations that have environmental standards lower than those in California. The measure would also require the Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGem) to report on its website the amount of particulate matter released into the air from tanker ship emissions from oil imported into the state in an effort to highlight the air quality impact from the state’s dependence on foreign oil.

In 2020, California was the seventh largest oil producing state in the nation with an average production of 391,000 barrels each day, 142 million barrels a year. All of the oil and gas produced in the state is consumed by Californians. However, the state’s demand for oil is 1.8 million barrels per day, or 675 million barrels a year, which means if oil stays around $100 a barrel consumers will send $50 billion a year to other countries to make up the difference with imported oil. The top two countries California imports its oil from are Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive, and Ecuador where the Amazon Rainforest is being bulldozed down to meet the demand for California’s consumption.

“Much of the oil we import could be replaced by California’s in-state producers, providing California jobs, if we were allowed to expand production,” said Senator Grove. “By relying on foreign oil imports, we have placed California’s energy security into the hands of countries that are actively hostile to California’s values when it comes to human rights, labor rights, and environmental rights.”

Petroleum is used for more than just the gasoline supplied to the 30 million cars driven by Californians. More than 6,000 everyday products are made from petroleum such as shoes, phones, toothbrushes, eyeglasses, heart valves, disposable diapers. According to the California Independent Petroleum Association, California’s industry directly supports 55,000 jobs which average $123,000 in annual pay. The average salary in California is $63,783 per year, about half that amount.

SB 1319 would begin a process to bring back to California the thousands of jobs that have been lost to foreign countries that do not share our democratic values or respect for the environment. California can produce much of the oil we import, and keep the jobs and revenues inside our Golden State while protecting our environment.

SB 1319 will next be heard in Senate Appropriations.