Fight over California oil plays out in competing studies | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-07-24 21:00:00 –

Public opinion is intensifying as the conflict over the Kern County oil industry becomes an increasingly political issue.

A recently published research and information campaign focuses on the perceived pros and cons of California’s oil and gas production. It may not be a coincidence, but the discussions taking place focus on many of the same topics being discussed in Sacramento.

On the anti-oil side, the Arizona-based Biodiversity Center concluded earlier this month that crude oil produced in California is more carbon-intensive than imported oil, making it a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Published the research.

Shortly thereafter, the message of oil promotion continued. Kang The Conqueror of Economic Development has released a two-page diagram highlighting the invisible environmental and human rights costs of California’s growing reliance on imported oil. Within a few days, news releases from the country’s top industrial organizations highlighted the economic benefits of oil production in the state.

Lobbying and marketing campaigns have long been a hallmark of California’s oil industry. And as climate change has gained public attention, environmental groups have been working for years to reshape the debate about what oil means for the Golden State.

But more than ever, public opinion-shaking efforts are now the focus of both activities. Just as environmentalists argue that oil production is due to climate change and public health and safety risks, the industry is trying to convince Californians that it is a scapegoat rather than a bad guy.

KEDC release

A politician in Kern County, California’s oil-producing center, argues that Governor Gavin Newsom’s efforts to limit oil production in the state and eventually phase it out are economically meaningless. ing. They say California has some of the world’s strictest regulations on oilfield activity, and efforts to reduce domestic production will lead to more imports from countries with worse environmental and human rights records.

That perspective appeared in the KEDC graphics. He noted that nearly three-quarters of California’s energy comes from fossil fuels, saying it produces less than one-third of the state’s oil consumption.

Due to the lack of oil pipelines in California, the state obtains much of its crude oil from tankers, the largest of which emits more than 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day. They said they account for about one-eighth of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Funded by KEDC and shared via email and social media, the figure shows Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Iraq, Colombia and Nigeria, the top sources of foreign oil in California in 2019, ranking the United States in international environmental rankings. It shows that it is far below. Health, labor, human rights.

CBD report

The Biodiversity Center’s report points out a number of points, including information to refute the claim that oil imports contribute more pollution than crude oil produced in California. But like the KEDC report, it avoids specific, perhaps relevant topics.

Using carbon strength values ​​provided by the California Department of Air Resources, CBD’s research shows that oil produced in California is heavier in carbon than most of the state’s imported oil, and California’s production gradually increases. It could offset the climatic benefits of the decline. ..

The overall carbon strength of California’s oil has increased by 22 percent since 2019, he said. At the same time, oil imported into California and refined in California rose by an average of only 8 percent, he said.

As a result, organizations claim that it’s time for California to accelerate the phasing out of oil production in the state and ban certain energy-intensive oil extraction methods.

According to a study, “Nowhere else in the world is better than California, with its rich and diverse economy and vibrant clean energy sector, to lead the rapid phase-out of oil and gas mining.” ..

heavy light

According to industry standards, 68% of the state’s oil production was classified as heavy in 2018. This is related to extraction methods that emit a lot of greenhouse gases and consume a lot of energy. By comparison, all oils brought in from other states, including tankers, were classified as light oil. In 13% of California’s refined total that year, those oils accounted for about half of the total produced in the state.

According to a CBD study, South America was the only important source of heavy oil imported into California and refined in the state, accounting for 22% of the 2019 Golden State supply. Canada and Mexico also sold heavy oil to California that year, CBD said. However, their crude oil reached only 5 percent of the state’s refined total in 2018.

Unlike the KEDC diagram, the CBD report does not attempt to assess the environmental, labor, and human rights standards of the countries in which California imports oil. Instead, it called the industry’s claims about the potential risks of moving production abroad “morally condemned,” pointing out some of California’s own oil-related regulatory failures.

John Fleming, a senior CBD scientist, argued in an email that reducing California’s state oil production would not lead to increased imports. Laws and policies that are already on the books result in lower consumption rather than lower production. ..

“Because of this existing trend, the demand for lost production is no longer here, so there will be no need to import more oil to replace the lost production,” he wrote.

API take

Wednesday’s news release by the American Petroleum Institute trade association provided a very different view. Using the results of a survey commissioned by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, California’s oil and gas in 2019 supported more than one million jobs, 84% of which were direct and the rest were indirect.

He said industrial activity in the state generated $ 199 billion in 2019, or 6.4 percent of California’s gross domestic product that year. The US Energy Information Administration added that global oil and liquid fuel consumption is expected to exceed 2019 levels in 2022.

“This study highlights the bright economic outlook for California when we are the world leader in energy production,” API President and CEO Mike Summers said in a release. Reliable energy and make us more dependent on foreign sources. “

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