BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution that would request suspending state limitations on oil and gas permitting and extraction in hopes to ease supply disruptions being caused by geopolitical tensions in Europe and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief administrative officer Ryan Alsop wrote a resolution on behalf of the board saying California needs more oil. The resolution criticized California’s dependency on imported oil to meet demands in today’s market, while locally sourced oil is only meeting about one-third of the demand. It also mentions California does not have a pipeline to bring oil in from other states.

“Due to the state’s adverse policies regarding natural resources, California is eight times more dependent
on foreign oil imports than three decades ago and uses over three times more oil than it produces, averaging 501,000 barrels produced per day, yet consuming over 1.6 million barrels each day,” the resolution states. “There are currently, no pipelines to bring oil to Califomia from any other part of the United States, therefore the state must rely on imported oil to make up its daily usage deficit.”

The resolution argues that the foreign oil coming into the state is less reliable and less sustainable than oil that can be produced right here in Kern County.

With tensions between Russia and Ukraine along with other geopolitical tensions are pushing the price of energy to new record highs, while California consumers paying the price.

“With the U.S. issuing a ban on Russian oil imports, market conditions will likely become even more volatile and energy prices will likely remain high over the next several months,” the resolution said.

“I think it is worth pointing out today, what we are watching in Europe with the exploration of people in Europe, holding them hostage to a demand for gas and oil products that they cannot produce on their own, leaves them vulnerable,” Supervisor Mike Maggard said. “And there are those in the world that are today conceiving of any way possible to exploit us in the same manner. If we voluntarily shut down our own ability to be oil and gas independent, we are putting our head in a noose.”

You can read a copy of the resolution that will be sent out to California lawmakers by clicking here.