California politicians love to hate domestic oil production but are more than willing to trade in local jobs for oil imports from foreign nations.
California imports more than 70 of its oil, which comes with a premium cost of extraction, transport across the globe, and unloading at our ports
The Bakersfield California editorial board recently highlighted how backward this state is with its disdain of domestic oil producers, that it would sign a law, even if it made things worse in our state. Here is what they wrote:
If Gov. Gavin Newsom knew a bill targeting the oil industry and the state’s estimated 5,300 orphan wells could worsen the problems it attempted to solve, why did he sign it? Likely just to appease activist groups and burnish his environmental credentials.
This month, Newsom signed AB 1167, which requires well owners to post increasingly costly bonds to cover the cost of abandoning and plugging wells, as well as restoring surrounding property. …
The legislation was heralded by activist groups that are targeting the oil industry and pressing for increased controls. Some are demanding that oil production in the state be halted altogether.
But in signing the bill, Newsom acknowledged that the legislation may have unintended consequences that could worsen the pollution problems it intends to solve.
Huh? In his signing statement, Newsom acknowledged the warnings of industry officials. Requiring petroleum producers to obtain larger bonds could cause the number of orphan wells to increase if existing owners simply walk away, instead of trying to sell idle or minimally productive wells. Even Newsom’s own Finance Department opposed the bill on these same grounds.
Instead, he signed AB 1167 into law and stated, “I look forward to working with the Legislature to make any necessary revisions to address this risk.”
Excuse us, but wouldn’t it have been prudent to fix the flawed legislation first before signing it? Over the years, Newsom often has returned to the Legislature flawed bills and demanded revisions before signing them. This seems to be one of those bills that should have been reworked before being signed.
Legislation to appease paid activists, which can make the situation worse, is not good policy, just good politics.