New Dem Assemblymember Wants to Boost California Oil Production
Newly elected Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano) has introduced a bill in the Legislature’s Special Session to restore California’s oil production.
“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.”
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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.”
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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. … ”