The California Dream of Self-Sufficiency
California is the fourth-largest global consumer of energy with a population of over 40 million residents. Where we get our day-to-day energy from matters. Due to state and local public policies that impact in-state oil and natural gas production, California is only producing 25% of the oil and gas used here in the state. We import the rest from foreign countries and other states that do not share our strict labor, safety, human rights and environmental standards. Meanwhile, California has the capacity to produce more than 50% of our in-state resources, which would help guide the state closer towards the California dream of energy self-sufficiency.
One important reason is because California’s production methods are already among the cleanest and safest in the world, and the industry is regulated by 25 federal and state agencies. Why would Californians want to delegate environmental leadership to countries with lower standards?
A further reason to prioritize energy self-sufficiency in California is the fact it would help keep energy prices down for everyone. The law of supply and demand shows that with an increased supply of locally produced energy in California, there would be more money in your wallet after you pay for your electricity bills and fill your tank. Anything that lowers costs for people is progressive, anything that increases costs is regressive.
Energy self-sufficiency also provides stability and protects Californians from the tumultuous geopolitical turmoil in many of the foreign countries from where we import most of our oil. Why do we make ourselves dependent on getting our needed resources from countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq that leave our state vulnerable to political and price volatility, ultimately jeopardizing our national security? Underscoring the financial stakes for Californians, our state sends over $25 billion overseas each year to import this oil, rather than focusing on increasing local production and keeping good, high-paying jobs for residents and billions of dollars in local tax revenues here in the state.
That is why Californians need and depend on access to affordable, reliable and safe energy, which comes from in-state energy sources. This “All-of-the-Above” approach maintains the benefits from our diverse energy supply for Californians, from renewable sources such as wind and solar to traditional sources such as oil and natural gas. Take a look at our infographic to learn more about this important topic.