California | November 2020
California, with both onshore and offshore oil production, has been supplying the U.S. with petroleum products since the 19th century. Operations are primarily focused around Kern County, the LA Basin, and the San Joaquin Valley, with the Midway-Sunset oil field in Kern County being the state’s largest.
State Drilling Statistics (End of November)
Total Rigs in California- 7
Total Rigs in United States- 320
Total U.S. Rigs down 60% YTD
San Fran Gas Ban
San Francisco has now become the latest city to ban natural gas in new buildings as 40% of the city’s greenhouse gasses come from powering buildings compared to the nationwide average of 12%. This means that stoves, furnaces, and water heaters will no longer burn gas for heat. The city backed its arguments with promises of cost savings and public health benefits. The city hopes to start transitioning away from natural gas use in buildings now to make it easier to hit the state goal of carbon neutrality by 2045. In total, 39 California cities have adopted building codes that limit or ban the burning of methane in order to expand electrification. Even with increased electrification, California is struggling to generate enough power in a clean manner. In 2019, 37% of California energy was generated by coal and natural gas of which 43% was imported in times of energy shortage due to an over reliance on renewables.
Kern County Bans
Seven oil and gas leases are being challenged by Governor Newsom and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity are claiming that the BLM’s sale of leases was based on a faulty environmental review finalized a year ago. The lawsuit claims the BLM’s environmental review failed to fully evaluate the significant and adverse impacts on the communities and environment of eight Central California counties. The review also goes on to say:
- Significantly underestimates the percent of new wells that would be drilled using fracking
- Ignores recent studies and best available science in evaluating the impacts of fracking
- Does not consider or attempt to mitigate the impacts of oil and gas development on nearby environmental justice communities
- Fails to analyze its proposed action for consistency with California state standards and policies, including California’s statutory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Fails to adequately analyze impacts to groundwater, and Fails to adequately consider or mitigate the significant climate impacts of opening up more than 4,000 acres of public lands to new oil and gas leasing
California Oil Production
California Gas Production
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