The United States has established itself as the greatest oil producer in the world ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

California and Hawaii are the only two states who cannot participate in the sharing of excess oil the US is producing and being enjoyed by the other 48 states. Hawaii is a true island but California is an energy island, as the Sierra Mountains are a natural barrier that prevents the state from pipeline access to any of that excess oil. Hawaii is a different story altogether so let’s focus on California.

The Golden State’s position on crude oil production fits right in with Putin’s goal to control energy. Russia is adamantly against U.S. fracking efforts and very supportive of any environmentalist group or wealthy individual efforts to slow or stop crude oil and natural gas exploration and production within the U.S. and European borders. Recently a Russian funded environmental group gave millions to anti-fracking groups to stop, curtail or severely weaken US fracking of crude oil and natural gas in states like Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

The information war has no clear sides. It’s a fool’s errand to try and win at that game. The guy who was hacking for you yesterday could be hacking for your adversary tomorrow. Putin knows this. Bin Saud knows this, Xi knows this and our leaders know this. Putin-led Russia understands the energy fight is the next frontier of warfare.

It’s easy to comprehend that whoever controls energy – particularly deep earth minerals/fuels delineated as oil, natural gas and coal – runs the world. Whoever rules these fossil fuel resources, using whatever means necessary, will decide how economies grow and under what type of government, either democratic or authoritarian, influences their daily lives.

Californians appear to be oblivious to the fact that the state is already a National Security Risk to America as its in-state crude oil production and Alaskan oil imports have been in decline for decades to meet the States’ energy needs. According to the California Energy Commission, California increased crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, costing California more than $60 million dollars a day, and that cost is increasing each year. In addition, those foreign countries have less stringent environmental regulations than California, and transport their crude oil via air polluting ships delivering that oil to California ports.

As another shot in the arm, Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) to cut oil and gas production in California passed the first committee that will further REDUCE in-state oil production by more than half. That large of a reduction in production will result in an increase of the daily costs to import oil from foreign countries from $60 million a day to an estimated $90 million a day being sent to oil rich foreign countries. Is California holding hands with Putin under the table as Russia’s works to control energy?

The new oil production “reduction” bill, commencing January 1, 2020, requires that all new oil and gas development, re-drilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations, as defined, to be considered new oil and gas development, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic.

California is adamantly against increasing in-state crude oil production from the largest shale reserves and ocean crude oil reserves in the country, in the Monterey Shale and Pacific Ocean. There are approximately 2 billion barrels offshore Santa Barbara that are discovered, estimated and producible, but subject to state and federal moratoria on production. The larger reserves are within 7 miles of the coast. This number is significant in that, with recently proven slant-drilling technology, formations within 7 miles of shore are accessible mostly from land-based slant drilling, with no offshore spill risk.

California is right in line with Putin’s desire to encourage the “leaders” of the 184 ratifying countries of the Paris Accord, to delay and eventually stop any further exploration of deep earth minerals by diverting those countries’ efforts toward intermittent renewables of wind and solar for electricity.

The Green New Plan and the 184 countries that have signed on to the Paris Accord, all believe that renewable electricity alone can run and save the world. Russia is the one major country not signatory to the Paris Accord that has not bought into the electricity hysteria, as Russia believes that transportation, commerce, and the military run the world with the deep earth minerals/fuels that have been the primary reasons wars have been won and lost from the availability of abundant and reliable oil and natural gas.

Historically speaking, the major contributors to America winning WWII was ingenuity and access to and control of deep earth minerals/fuels to run the ships, planes and other vehicles, needed to move troops and supplies to anywhere in the world. The world is now accustomed to post WWII prosperity that includes global infrastructures industrialization and militaries for over seventy years which are all based on fossil fuel. No one knows this better than Vladimir Putin. As a former Colonel in the KGB he studied and learned from how Russia was invaded by Napoleon and Hitler’s armies in the last 200 years.

Moreover, it is no secret Putin is well aware that whoever controls the sale and distribution of deep earth minerals and fuels controls the world’s military, transportation, and commerce. Russia wants to be that one country, and is willing to put its rubles behind the deception of intermittent electricity from wind and solar being the way to save the world from itself.

California’s blindness to the real solution of the energy wars, whether ignorant or willingly, is assisting Putin-led Russia in its mad goal toward world dominance.


  • Ronald Stein

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