As gasoline prices in the United States continue to inch towards the $4 per gallon mark, Californians are already paying an average of $5.44 per gallon (September 11, Gas Buddy). As concerns about inflation, energy prices, and their impact on family budgets grow, the Biden Administration’s approach is alarming.
Instead of investing and promoting domestic oil production policies, including existing wells, federal lands, and offshore drilling, the Biden Administration is focused on negotiating with oil-producing nations like Iran and Venezuela to increase their oil production. Intending to increase supplies and decrease gasoline prices, this approach of making our country more dependent on foreign oil highlights this administration’s hypocrisy and backward thinking.
California, once a significant oil producer, now imports over 70 percent of its oil despite being able to produce it domestically. The state’s unique position as an “energy island” makes it challenging to access U.S.-produced oil from other states, further exacerbating its dependence on foreign oil imports. The consequence is soaring gasoline prices, leaving Californians to bear the financial burden.
Amid this energy crisis, the California State Legislature passed a non-binding Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2), endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative to stop petroleum exploration and phasing out existing production.
Californians consume 1.8 million barrels of oil a day. They consumed 1.8 million two weeks ago, yesterday, as they will tomorrow. SJR 2 conveniently ignores California’s immediate energy needs while turning a blind eye to the environmental and human rights violations from the countries we are paying billions of dollars for their oil. It also ignores that California companies produce the only climate-compliant oil in the world.
And here is where the situation gets pathetic.
April 2, 2023: “Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ oil producers on Sunday announced further oil output cuts of around 1.16 million barrels per day, in a surprise move that analysts said would cause an immediate rise in prices and the United States called inadvisable.” https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/sarabia-other-opec-producers-announce-voluntary-oil-output-cuts-2023-04-02/
June 5, 2023: “OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, already had in place oil output cuts of 3.66 million barrels per day.” https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/how-opec-deal-cuts-oil-supply-until-end-2024-2023-06-05/
September 5, 2023: ”Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed Tuesday to extend their voluntary oil production cuts through the end of this year, trimming 1.3 million barrels of crude out of the global market and boosting energy prices.” https://apnews.com/article/saudi-arabia-oil-production-cut-opec-2d6f724e899f31e92d4bdf052921125c
The Biden negotiations are nothing more than a shell game to make the American people believe there are some pro-active efforts to reduce gas prices. These actions also leave Californians grappling with high gasoline prices and limited alternatives.