This past quarter the United States economy received two major blows. While the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly at the forefront of this economic disaster and rightfully so due to its overarching reach, what some don’t realize is that the U.S. economy started on a down hill slide right before COVID reached the United States when the global oil and gas market plummeted.

What people may not know is that Saudi Arabia flooded the world market with extremely low oil prices, bringing the U.S. oil and gas industry to a standstill and simultaneously poking their first hole in our financial market. It was an effort to increase their country’s share of the energy market and in turn is destroying local, independent oil and gas producers that are producing oil efficiently, safely and with great concern for the environment.

While U.S. oil and in particular, California oil is highly regulated and taxed, the government is doing nothing to do the same with foreign oil. As recently reported in a recent Forbes article, why isn’t the US government applying import tariffs or other sanctions? Why aren’t we calling on our leaders to protect our own oil and gas resources and prevent a potentially more damaging economic and security situation?

As a state, California imports 60% of its oil from foreign sources like Saudi Arabia rather than California producers that are adhering the strictest standards and regulations and simultaneously supporting the state’s economy. Perhaps it is time for California to change its policies on foreign oil as well.

Learn more at Forbes.com.