Watch CBS News

California Lawmakers Urge Newsom To Increase Oil Production As Ukraine War Pushes Gas Prices To Record Highs

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A bipartisan coalition of California lawmakers are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to increase oil production in the state as the war in Ukraine sends gas prices soaring.

Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield says the state of California imports 75% of its oil supplies from foreign nations – and 6% comes from Russia.

Bipartisan Group of California Lawmakers Ask Governor to Increase Domestic Production in Face of War in Ukraine ...

Posted by Assemblyman Vince Fong on Monday, March 7, 2022

"The state's reliance on foreign oil has only grown because of state and federal policies that have severely limited the production of affordable energy within California," a letter to Newsom signed by 23 lawmakers read. "With the conflict in Ukraine, there is going to be increased demand on volatile energy supplies – making California more vulnerable to price swings."

Across the nation, the average price of gas topped $4 a gallon for the first time since 2008 – and California has the highest gas prices in the nation. In Los Angeles County alone, the average price of a gallon of regular gas is well over $5, and at some stations, is flirting dangerously close to $6.

"There are permits sitting on the governor's desk right now that will allow energy producers in California to help our state and to help us be energy independent," Fong said.

The lawmakers say they have not heard back from Newsom about the request. However, they say their next step will be to introduce legislation to ban oil imports and to fast track permits for energy producers.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.