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We Can Talk About CA's Amazonian Oil Now!
NY Times "Mainstreams" the CA Amazonian Oil Supply Chain Story.
“In Sacramento, it’s just crazy, when you tell lawmakers, policymakers, that this is where the oil is coming from, they have no idea.” Kevin Koenig, Director at Amazon Watch
The New York Times, because they have to meddle in everything outside their special ex-landfill, publishes an email newsletter specifically for those on, or interested in a large swath of the opposite coast called California Today. In today’s email, the subject and main part of the message’s body focused on California’s thirst for Amazon oil.
California Today: Half of the Amazon’s crude oil ends up in the state begins with the super authoritative “Researchers say,” (so you know it’s Approved Science™) followed by, “that half of the crude oil exported from the Amazon rainforest ends up in California.”
This is, of course, not new information.
Much like with the gas stove/appliance issue, we covered it here before the Corporate Press grabbed onto it and spun it into nonsense.
Unapproved Sources™ such as Mike Umbro and Marty Bent have known about this for some time too. Their 90+ minute podcast on the issue highlights some, ahem, inconvenient truths.
Environmental groups (likely Experts™) such as Amazon Watch (which the NY Times does cite) have also been talking about oil extraction issues (less so about CA in particular) in that region for years too.
Just to recap (because spoiler alert!) the NY Times piece leave out a lot of important background.
California is practically an “energy island” when it comes to hydrocarbons. Nearly every molecule extracted in-state is consumed in-state, in part because of the demand but also because there is little overland infrastructure to import or export. The state consumes far more than it extracts in-state however so the deficit must be plugged by imports. The Jones Act limits interstate transport via ship. Most oil that’s consumed in CA is refined at a handful of in-state refineries too. Furthermore CA’s imposes strict environmental regulations that other jurisdictions do not which makes producing refined products for the CA market uneconomical out of state. Details in the piece below.
CA imports a great deal of oil from abroad, in particular oil that suits their in-state refineries. One of their primary sources is Ecuador. Ecuadorean crude primarily comes from the part of their territory that lies in the Amazon basin. These areas have been eyed for oil extraction for over 60 years, predating CA’s current woes. Bugaboos do include outright atrocious behavior by the multi-national oil companies but also the Ecuadorean and Peruvian Governments, The Misery Industry (in part led at by Coastal Elites *cough NY Times* here in the US ironically) who in large part put Ecuador into the sovereign debt trap, and China - specifically their “Belt and Road” initiatives. (Misery Industry with Chinese Characteristics).
But the NY Times “mainstreaming” this issue means it’s now officially approved by the Corporate Press as a talking point among “polite society.” Of course their piece leaves out a lot. Given how the Corporate Press grotesquely mislead the narrative on gas stoves a few weeks ago we’re looking forward to what they’ll do with this issue too.
The piece, quoting David J. Hackett of Stillwater Associates, might give some hints about the upcoming finger wagging we expect to see from always-truthful sources such as the LA Times who will more than likely soon issue another one of their cringeworthy columns or editorials.
At the same time, he said, California’s oil producers could use concerns about the Amazon as leverage against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desire to scale down the state’s own production.
“I think those producers might very well argue that, hey, if you buy California crude oil, you’re not harming the Indigenous people or the rainforest,” Hackett said.
Anyday now, we expect the LA Times to launch an attack on ‘ol Umbro here for doing just that.
The idea that eViL oIl PeOpLe in California not only know about this but bring it up as a viable concern, as Mike Umbro has, will likely be a tough pill for many to swallow.
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