Subsequent to his July 24th visit to the Central Valley it seems California Governor Newsom wants to hand over the keys to the Golden State to Vladimir Putin and his Russian cronies to run, in spite of the national security risk that it may create.

There are scary similarities between Newsom’s goals for California and Putin’s objectives. Both support California being more dependent on imported foreign oil, and both support anti-fracking in California as a successful fracking enterprise would lessen the states’ dependency on that foreign oil.

Historically the state’s solution has been to increase crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to a shocking 57% in 2018, at a cost of more than $60 million dollars a day—and increasing each year.

By driving the oil and gas industry out of the state and into the dust bin of modern economics, the governor’s recent moves to lessen the power of one of the most successful industries in world economics will play right into the hands of Russia’s plan to control oil and natural gas exploration and distribution in the western world.

Putin loves the concept that the Governor is looking into putting a moratorium on fracking for oil in the largest oil reserves in America, located in California. The Governor’s right in line with Putin’s desire to encourage the “leaders” of the 184 ratifying countries of the Paris Agreement, and California, 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 governor’s plan of moving forth at such an abrupt pace to end the states’ dependence on fossil fuels and convert to 100% renewable electricity (folks, it’s not renewable energy, it’s only intermittent electricity) will break the back of the oil industry in the state and severely damage the California economy like the green movements have done in Germany and Australia.

During his visit the governor said he has set aside $1.5 million to study ways to reduce petroleum demand and production in the state. Don’t make me laugh. That is barely enough to get research started.  As government research goes most of that will get lost in the bureaucracy leaving barely enough to pay the salaries of the professionals hired to compile and analyze data in the first six months of a multi-years long project.

The Governor seems oblivious to the fact that 100 percent of the 17 infrastructures reported on recently by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in the 2019 Infrastructure Report Card for California use deep earth minerals/fuels to “move things and make thousands of products” to support the state and economies around the world, and those infrastructures are increasing their demand and usage each year of those energy sources from deep earth minerals/fuels.

The Governors ‘aggressive efforts to curtail the use of fossil fuels and seek a long-term strategy to reduce oil production is totally contradictory to the ASCE Infrastructure Report and their recommendations to improve our infrastructures.

All of the infrastructures that will need to shrink their operations without access to the energy they need to continue at current and future levels will impact millions of well-paid Californians in favor of the minimum wage level jobs that will be created by new green technology replacing the oil industry jobs. These new jobs will not generate enough economy to support any town and may even create a new era of ghost towns prevalent during the end of the silver and gold eras at the turn of the 20th century.

The charge into green will require retraining of a huge displaced workforce used to a certain lifestyle. A minimum wage earner is not afforded the time nor the resources to enjoy leisure activities.  Their mainstay in life is to make ends meet.  Most times that requires two and three such jobs and maybe even both heads of household working two of those low wage jobs to break even financially. How does the Governor plan to feed the families of displaced workers when he shuts down their means of survival? By default, his actions will increase the welfare numbers.

Adding insult to injury Sacramento Democrats are seriously considering Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions” which would require all new oil and gas development that is not on federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic.

The effect of this “2,500” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production by half. That will result in California sending another $16 Billion, on top of the current $32 Billion every year (again, Yes, that’s a “B”), to those oil rich foreign countries that have the audacity to not even send California a thank you note.

The Governor should know from data provided by the California Energy Commission that California is the only state in the union that currently imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries. In fact, since the state operates what is, in effect, the world’s fifth-largest economy, its ever-increasing dependency on foreign countries for its crude oil needs not only causes inflationary challenges for its citizens and businesses but has the potential to put our national security at risk.

This not an indictment of the esteemed Governor. This is an examination of the facts and exposing the similarities and possibilities. Russia, but not the 184 countries that have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement is well aware that electricity alone, especially intermittent electricity from renewables, has not, and will not, run the economies in the world; electricity alone is unable to support the energy demands of the military, airlines, medical industry, cruise ships, supertankers, container shipping, and trucking infrastructures.

Moreover, it is no secret Putin understands whoever controls the sale and distribution of deep earth minerals and fuels controls the world.

Putin’s Russia would love to see America’s economy go to waste while we struggle to employ a hundred thousand people who used to keep their money in banks and spend their wages in local stores and take their children to local schools and enjoy the leisure times provided by local industries that are attracted to the areas where people have the money and the time to spend on them.

Author

  • Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched Principal Technical Services (PTS) in 1995. He writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.