Senator Grove Calls on Governor Newsom to Immediately Approve 1,000 Permits to Expand Domestic Oil Production

Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) delivered a letter to Governor Newsom this week urging him to approve permits for oil drilling so that California can expand its domestic oil production. With California gas prices soaring above $5.00 and no end in sight, this action would provide relief for motorists at the pumps. Click here to download the letter. 


Dear Governor Newsom,

This morning President Joe Biden announced that the United States will stop importing Russian oil and gas in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I applaud this action which will have the strong support of Americans outraged by continued Russian atrocities. You too have quickly responded to Russia’s invasion by directing state agencies and departments to ensure their contractors are complying with economic sanctions imposed by the federal government. This action followed your call for state pension funds to halt the flow of money from the state to Russia and to ban the purchase of Russian debt. You are to be commended for this strong action. 

However, the state currently imports around 50,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia. That source will need to be made up somewhere. The state has two options. One option is to increase the amount of oil it imports from other foreign countries. California currently gets about 60% of its oil from Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Ecuador is actively engaged in clear cutting the Amazon rainforest to accommodate California’s demand for oil, while Saudi Arabia and Iraq are responsible for widespread human rights violations. 

Governor, California has another option that will create jobs and help secure our energy future. You can, today, expedite the more than 1,000 permits for expanded drilling and new projects awaiting approval by your Administration. Those projects would add thousands of new oil wells, create good paying jobs for Californians, and approving them would send a message that California’s energy security will not be a victim to foreign regimes that are incompatible with our freedoms. 

The answer to this question is a simple one. It makes no sense for California to increase our oil imports from these disagreeable countries when the solution is right here at home. I implore you to support our in-state producers who can quickly ramp up local production if permits would be processed in a timely manner. I ask that you take a bold stand on this issue, send a clear message to Putin and other corrupt foreign regimes, and support California’s energy security.