Bains pitches bill to shore up Calif. oil production, reduce foreign oil dependency

The Kern County Democrat is seeking to ween California off foreign oil.

A Central Valley Democrat is seeking to restore California oil production by relieving the state’s dependence on oil extracted from the Amazon rainforest. 

Freshman Asm. Jasmeet Bains (D–Delano) introduced Assembly Bill X1-3, which would impact all oil refined in California. 


The big picture: ABX1-3 would require California refineries to increase the amount of California oil they buy and process. 

  • If passed, 50 percent of all oil refined in California would be required to originate within the Golden State by 2035. 

Driving the news: Over 30 years ago California was sourcing over 60 percent of its crude oil from within the state, with only about five percent originating internationally. But the state is now importing 56 percent from other countries, while supplying under 30 percent from within the state, according to the California Energy Commission. 

  • California has also been the top market for oil extracted from the Amazon rainforest, with half of the crude oil from Ecuador, Peru and Colombia exported to the state in 2020. 

What they’re saying: In her statement announcing her legislation, Bains praised California’s strict health, workplace safety and environmental standards that govern its oil production. 

  • “Policies designed to restrict in-state oil production have made us more reliant on foreign sources of oil,” Bains said. “Our biggest oil markets now include countries with atrocious records on human rights and those directly responsible for the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.” 
  • Bains continued by saying that Sacramento embraces “pie-in-the sky policies” too often that do not solve problems. 
  • “Pushing the oil industry out of the 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.”
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