Chevron Tells California Why They’re Losing Jobs And Investment: Anti-Energy Policies

Congratulations to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is succeeding at his goal of driving away fossil fuel investment and jobs, even while failing to reduce global CO2 emissions.

See Chevron’s announcement Tuesday that it is writing down its upstream assets in the Golden State owing to “continuing regulatory challenges.” [emphasis, links added]

Chevron’s write-down acknowledges what the company has been telling California lawmakers for some time: Their energy policies are making the state uninvestable.

These include the state’s cap-and-trade program, low-carbon fuel standard, penalty on “excessive” refiner margins, and a 2022 law limiting new drilling within 3,200 feet of homes and schools.

California policies have made it “riskier than investing in other states, with projects being lower in quality and higher in cost,” Chevron’s Americas Products business president Andy Walz wrote last month in a filing with the California Energy Commission.

“Chevron alone has reduced spending in California by hundreds of millions of dollars since 2022.”

“We have rejected capital projects” and canceled some “due to permitting challenges,” Mr. Walz noted, adding that California’s “arbitrary attacks on a disfavored industry … signal to every industry, entrepreneur, manufacturer, and employer that California is closed for business.

They’ve gotten that signal. Employment in California has declined by 77,700 over the last year.

In California’s oil-rich Kern County around Bakersfield, unemployment is 7.8%—more than two times the national average.

California’s policies aren’t reducing oil production or CO2 emissions in the U.S. or around the world. They are merely driving oil jobs and investment elsewhere.

Chevron is increasing investment in U.S. shale and offshore Guyana with its $53 billion acquisition of Hess.

U.S. oil production has surged to a record 13.2 million barrels a day despite higher interest rates and President Biden’s best efforts to crush the industry.

One reason is that shale fracking is predominantly occurring on private and state land in places like Texas and North Dakota.

The courts helped by blocking Mr. Biden’s moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land.

Oil production in the Permian basin in the Southwest exceeds its pre-pandemic peak by about one million barrels a day, which has more than offset the 100,000 barrels a day decline in California.

Over the last decade, production in California has fallen by nearly half amid increasing climate regulation while output from the Permian has quadrupled.

Mr. Biden has frackers and Republican-led states to thank for why gas prices nationwide aren’t $5 a gallon as they are in California.

Read more at WSJ

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