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California’s Green Agenda Continues to Be a National Security Risk for America

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California’s Green Agenda Continues to Be a National Security Risk for America

An employee stands at the Hammar Mushrif Degassing Station Facilities site inside the Zubair oil and gas field, north of the southern Iraqi province of Basra on May 9, 2018. (Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

Ronald Stein

Ronald Stein

11/14/2023

Updated: 11/16/2023

Commentary
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s environmental directives are increasing California’s dependency on foreign crude oil to support the state’s airports and shipping terminals.
California is the largest consumer of jet fuel in the nation, with more than 140 airports demanding billions of gallons of aviation fuel per year, including major international airports and military airports.
In addition, California has three of the largest shipping ports in America—No. 1 in Los Angeles, No. 2 in Long Beach, and No. 7 in Oakland. Ships arriving and departing from the ports up and down the coast from San Diego to San Francisco require massive amounts of lower-grade “bunker fuel.”
Historically, California’s green movement to promote electricity generation from wind and solar has been successfully reducing in-state oil production over the decades to force California, the fourth-largest economy in the world, to import most of its crude oil to in-state refineries from foreign countries. That dependence, via maritime transportation from foreign nations for the state’s crude oil demands, has increased imported crude oil to 60 percent of total consumption today from 5 percent in 1992.
(California Energy Commission)

(California Energy Commission)

Occasional green electricity from wind and solar alone can’t support the operational needs of three of the largest shipping ports in America and the more than 140 airports that provide vast supplies to the rest of America.
While California is pursuing the elimination of crude oil production to focus on wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, China has no intentions of abandoning its economic, military, or strategic ambitions—all of which rely on nonrenewables such as crude oil and coal. Asia is the region with the greatest number of future petroleum refineries. As of 2021, there were 88 new facilities in planning or under construction in Asia.
With the potential loss of two more California refineries in the coming years, more of California’s gasoline and jet fuel demands will be imported from Iraq, Ecuador, and Saudi Arabia to supply the state’s military bases and major international airports including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento, along with many oil derivatives that shuttered California refineries will no longer be manufacturing.
Without enough crude oil for California’s refineries to be processed into fuels to meet these demands, what’s Mr. Newsom’s explanation to Americans as to how the fourth-largest economy in California isn’t a security risk for the entire country?
With Mr. Newsom having the expectation of someday becoming the Democratic Party nominee for the presidency of the United States, maybe he can explain to those at the Democratic National Convention in August 2024 how California, under his leadership for six years, has become a national security risk because of the following:
  • Importing more than 75 percent of the state’s demand for crude oil for current in-state refineries from other states and foreign nations
  • Constantly reducing in-state refining capacity that refines fuels and petrochemicals for the demands of society
  • Constantly focusing on green electricity occasionally generated from wind and solar, neither of which can be manufactured into any products for the needs of California’s population
Petrochemicals have been driving oil demand in recent years, but that could all change if new restrictions come into place to curb the production of plastics and other products. With more than 6 billion people on this planet making less than $10 per day who wish to join the industrial revolution, the global demand for petrochemicals has been gradually rising over the past two decades, as an increasing number of consumers purchase petrochemical-derived products.
A view of the Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A view of the Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With more in-state refinery closures imminent under Mr. Newsom’s watch, California can look toward Asia’s 88 new refineries for its fuel needs and for manufactured oil derivatives that are the basis of every plastic product in our society.
Even to the uneducated, such blatant dependency on foreign countries for crude oil and fuels to pass through three of the busiest shipping ports in America, all located on the coastline of the fourth-largest economy in the world, is a national security risk for the entire United States of America.
Ronald Stein

Ronald Stein

Author

Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for Heartland, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”

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