Local Energy Security & National Security
One of the biggest threats to America’s national security in the latter half of the 20th century — and up until a few years ago — was our dependence on imported oil and natural gas. Those resources were coming from the Middle East, arguably the most volatile and dangerous region of the world.
With the advent of hydraulic fracturing that allowed for the extraction of previously locked deposits of oil and natural gas, the U.S. has reduced its dependence on foreign sources so much that recent troublesome events in the Middle East barely moved the needle in global energy markets, except in California.
America has produced so much energy that it is now the largest exporter in the world. At the same time, California has moved in the opposite direction.
Today, California is more dependent on foreign imports of oil and natural gas than at any time in its history.
Just look at the facts:
- In 2000, California imported 177 million barrels of foreign oil
- In 2018, California imported 364 million barrels of foreign oil
- This is a 105.1% increase in imported foreign oil
- Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Columbia, Iraq, Kuwait, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Angola represent more than 90% of the imported foreign oil
While our nation as a whole is learning how to kick its addiction to foreign oil and gas, California has increased its dependency, which threatens the overall economic health of the state. And because of its size and the fact that California represents 13% of the total U.S. economy, if California’s economy catches a cold, the rest of the country could get pneumonia.
Geopolitical events in the Middle East and other volatile regions like Venezuela and Ecuador in South America put California consumers at the mercy of incidents that are beyond their control. California needs to be less dependent on oil from the most dangerous parts of the world. This is no longer just a question of California’s energy security, it’s a question of our country’s national security.