New Dem Assemblymember Wants to Boost California Oil Production - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
Connect with us

Politics

New Dem Assemblymember Wants to Boost California Oil Production

Published

on

California's reliance on foreign oil finances human rights abuses in the Middle East and destruction of the Amazon rainforest, says Dr. Jasmeet Bains. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
Share with friends

Newly elected Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano) has introduced a bill in the Legislature’s Special Session to restore California’s oil production.

Dr. Jasmeet Bains portrait

“California’s policies are directly responsible for financing human rights violations in the Middle East and the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. … Protecting California’s premier oil industry is one of the most environmentally friendly things we can do.” — Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains

If it becomes law, ABX1-3 would require refineries to increase the amount of California oil they buy and process.

The bill calls for 50% of all oil refined in California to originate from the state by 2035.

“California oil production occurs under the strictest health, workplace safety, and environmental protection standards in the world,” Bains said in a news release on Friday.

“Policies designed to restrict in-state oil production have made us more reliant on foreign sources of oil. Our biggest oil markets now include countries with atrocious records on human rights and those directly responsible for the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.”

State Used to Rely on Its Own Oil

Bains said that before the 1990s, California refineries sourced more than 60% of their crude oil from within the state and only about 5% came from foreign countries. According to the California Energy Commission, California now supplies less than 30% of its crude oil while importing 56% from foreign sources.

In addition, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq rank among the top sources of foreign crude imported by the state’s refineries. In 2020, 50% of the crude oil from Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia was exported to California.

“Sacramento too often embraces pie-in-the-sky policies that don’t solve real problems,” said Bains. “Pushing the oil industry out of state may please some political activists, but it ignores the realities of the global market,” Bains said.

“California’s policies are directly responsible for financing human rights violations in the Middle East and the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. My bill maintains all of California’s strict environmental and labor protections, while also ensuring we Buy American. Protecting California’s premier oil industry is one of the most environmentally friendly things we can do.”

About Assemblymember Bains

Bains received 60% of the vote to defeat fellow Democrat Leticia Perez, a Kern County supervisor, in November to represent the 35th District.

She is the first South Asian woman and Sikh elected to the California Legislature. She also was the first medical doctor appointed to lead the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee.

“Growing up as a girl in Delano, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I’d have the title of ‘doctor,’ let alone, ‘Assemblywoman-elect,’ ” Bains said two weeks after the election. “But at my core, I’m still just a daughter of the Valley who was lucky enough to go away to medical school and return to serve the community I call home. … ”

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

Continue Reading
Advertisement GVwire