Home>Articles>‘Fact Checkers’ Claim California’s Import of Alaskan Oil isn’t Really an ‘Import’

Oil rigs in the sunset. (Photo: Thaiview/Shutterstock)

‘Fact Checkers’ Claim California’s Import of Alaskan Oil isn’t Really an ‘Import’

Duh: ‘Does less oil drilling and more imports lead to higher gas prices in California?’

By Katy Grimes, February 14, 2023 11:26 am

The Sacramento Bee published an article last week claiming that it’s not true that Californians are paying higher gas prices because the state no longer produces most of its own oil and instead imports the majority of its supply.

“Claim: Californians are paying higher gas prices because the state no longer produces most of its own oil and instead imports the majority of its supply.”

The Bee claims that statement is “misleading:”

Californians for Energy Independence, an organization tied to the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA), is behind the digital and television spots.

Why is this “misleading?” The Bee explains:

The ad says California has “shut down about 25% of local oil production in the last four years” and says California imports 75% of its oil, resulting in an “unstable energy supply and even higher gas prices for working families.”

This is accurate only if you count Alaskan oil as “imported,” which the industry seems to do. California produced about 29% of its own crude in 2021, according to data from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Nearly 15% came from Alaska and the remaining 56% was imported from other countries.

Well, if California isn’t producing all of the oil needed to fuel the state’s nearly 40 million residents, then we are “importing” it, regardless where it comes from – the Continental U.S. or a foreign country.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the state’s crude oil production did decline by about 25% from 2018 to 2022, the Bee fact checkers admit.

It’s far worse than that.

In 1985, California produced a high of 34,228 barrels of oil.

That dropped to 23,877 only 10 years later in 1995.

By 2005 California only produced 18,782 barrels of oil.

By 2015 it was down to 16,336 barrels of oil produced.

By September 2022, only 9,934 barrels of oil were produced by California – and our population has grown significantly.

In 1985, California’s population was 26.4 million – when we were producing 34,228 barrels of oil.

By 2020, California had 39,501,653 residents and produced 11,609 barrels of oil, which dropped to 39,029,342 residents by 2022, when we produced only 9,934 barrels of oil.

California is going backwards – by more than 2/3rds in oil production.

California’s crude oil production. (Photo: U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Fox News Digital warns Tuesday that California’s electric grid faces years of potential blackouts and failure as the governor and Legislature continue denying oil permits at the same time pushing aggressive renewable energy measures.

“The state’s grid, which is still mainly powered by fossil fuels, is undergoing a major shift from natural gas and coal power to renewable power like wind and solar,” Fox reports. “Simultaneously, state officials are pushing an electrification of the economy, particularly in the transportation sector through electric vehicle mandates, which is expected to increase pressure on the grid.”

Governor Gavin Newsom takes every opportunity he can to demonize “Big Oil,” as well as actively working to destroy California’s oil and gas industry.

Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 1137, a gut-and-amend bill by Democrat Senators Lena Gonzalez and Monique Limón, to require 3,200-foot mandatory setbacks around California oil and gas wells. “Greedy oil companies know that drilling results in more kids getting asthma, more children born with birth defects, and more communities exposed to toxic, dangerous chemicals,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “But they would rather put our health at risk than sacrifice a single cent of their billions in profits.”

Newsom’s fight with “Big Oil” is shameless.

According to Dave Noerr, the Mayor of Taft, CA and President and CEO of Huddleston Crane Service, the “lunacy” behind the bill stems from untrue claims frequently repeated by media, that “the fossil fuel industry contributes to public health harms that kill hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and disproportionately endanger Black, Brown, Indigenous, and poor communities,” as LA City Council President Nury Martinez said when the City of Los Angeles was proposing a ban on all new oil and gas extraction, as well as phasing out all existing wells over the next twenty years.

The Globe asked in August when reporting on SB 1137, “Why now when oil production has responsibly occurred in Los Angeles County and around the state for more than 100 years?”

Noerr told the Globe that it’s the green policies imposed by California, including surcharges, taxes and fees, that are causing the cost of energy to skyrocket – which is what the green energy proponents want. Banning oil fields would only greatly exacerbate the problem straight into a full crisis as we are seeing in real time in Europe.

“The rush to go green in Europe is a fantasy,” Noerr said. In its attempt to build “a climate-friendly future,” Europe has shunned oil, natural gas, and nuclear power, to its own detriment – and is now paying 80% higher energy bills.

Noerr said for those sincerely interested in reducing carbon emissions, the global textile industry has a much larger carbon footprint than the aviation industry. He also said the “invisible waste” for one laptop computer is 1,200 kilograms, which is 2,645.5 pounds. For one Electric Vehicle, there are 500,000 pounds of “invisible waste.”

Gov. Newsom left out his important role in escalating oil and gas prices in California, the Globe recently reported.

In October 2022, Gov. Newsom addressed the $2.50 difference between California’s highest-in-the-nation gas prices, over $7.00 in some California locations, and the rest of the country in a video. “This degree of divergence from the national prices has never happened before. And oil companies? They provide no explanation. The fact is, they’re ripping you off,” he said. “Their record profits are coming at your expense.”

Newsom left out of his video the part where in 2021 he largely killed hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in California as part of his overall plan to end oil extraction. He also announced his action to halt issuance of fracking permits by 2024 – next year.

Gov. Newsom also signed a package of “sweeping legislation” in September 2022 to achieve statewide carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045, by establishing an 85% emissions reduction target, capping oil wells, slowing oil and gas permitting, making it impossible to increase refining capacity, and entirely phasing out oil and gas starting in two years.

That “sweeping set of laws” Newsom touts is 40 new climate change bills regulating California businesses and its people. And that’s just the start.

The Bee also neglected to address why the Governor and state officials won’t acknowledge that hydro-electric and nuclear power are greenhouse gas-free, but are not considered “renewable” by the state.

Rather than analyzing actual legislation supported and signed into law by Gov. Newsom harming the state’s energy production, SacBee “fact checkers” pivoted to the “Bad Big Oil” message and deferred to the highly politicized California Air Resources Board for support:

“Less California crude may be better for the environment,” the Bee said. “David Clegern, a California Air Resources Board spokesman, said state’s crude oil is ‘generally more carbon-intensive than imported crude.’ ‘The higher the carbon intensity generates more (greenhouse gases) and is worse for air quality because it requires more energy to refine,’ Clegern said in an email.”


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13 thoughts on “‘Fact Checkers’ Claim California’s Import of Alaskan Oil isn’t Really an ‘Import’

  1. Yes, facts are facts and oh, how lefty fact-checkers like those at the SacBee and other publications hate them! Isn’t it interesting that every time the fact-checkers smell someone telling the truth they come pouring in the windows but bald-faced lies don’t seem to bother them much?
    Fortunately Katy Grimes has once again spelled out clearly in black and white the bare facts of our unnecessarily horrible energy situation and the Gov’s fine hand in it. Which not only looks purposefully done but which will become more and more dire as time goes on if it isn’t stopped.
    Since 1985 (with almost half the population compared to today) California has reduced its oil production by MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS. That’s what I’ll remember most from this piece. It’s scary because we’re heading for Europe-level suffering if we keep this up. No heat in the winter can be a life-and-death matter.
    CW said it well —- fact checkers are simply paid liars.

    1. I’m glad to you brought that up, Fed Up, because I had a thought this morning (I’m sure not an original one, ha) as I was watching the common-sensical Sen John Kennedy being swarmed by reporters desperate to get answers from him about so-called “BalloonGate,” which is itself likely a distraction from other, more serious matters. In light of the disturbing press silence about the Ohio haz-mat situation (to name one more serious story), it occurred to me that in these terrible times the future belongs to those who tell the truth and to those who are trusted and transparent. Others, including “Ministry of Truth” players of all stripes will simply be swept away or dramatically recede as the public becomes more and more desperate to find out what the heck is going on in our country and in the world, that no one “in authority” is willing to explain to anyone’s satisfaction. And when reporters themselves seem to be affected by the lies and confusion and distractions and desperate to get to the bottom of it all, look out.

  2. FedGuv gave up on their pipe dream of a Disinformation Governance Board. StateGuv still has theirs, in the form of the Sacramento Bee.

  3. Uh…didn’t the foundation of his wealth, i.e. the Getty Connection Contributions come via the oil industry? I’m getting the feeling that the mainstream media is starting to kind of turn on him and begin to actually question his motives or actions. There just seems to be more critical coverage of him.

  4. Uh…didn’t the foundation of his wealth, i.e. the Getty Connection Contributions come via the oil industry? I’m getting the feeling that the mainstream media is starting to kind of turn on him and begin to actually question his motives or actions. There just seems to be more critical coverage of him. But the California Globe is definitely leading the way…Thank You!

  5. Just give a low information voter a periotic $300 check, control information, take over the world. Oh how could I forget to add “racism”

  6. The article has an error. The total production of oil is in the millions of barrels, not 30,000 or so. The chart is in 1,000’s of barrels.

  7. They only way Newsom gets away with this is there is no media in California that will call him out on anything. The Bee had its chance to be a newspaper and they failed by being a promotion arm of the democrats.
    Google is facing anti trust and Facebook is has lose the younger generation. It just a matter of time until California’s last money crop fails.

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