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Getting Answers: Where Does California Get Its Crude Oil, And How Reliant Is The State On Russia?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The numbers keep ticking up and up. Gas prices are breaking records on a daily basis.

California produces less than 1 percent of the crude oil used statewide. Last year, that was 351,000 barrels a day.

Given President Biden's newly imposed ban on Russian oil, we wanted to know where the state does get its crude oil.

According to the California Energy Commission, only 3.5 percent comes from Russia. However, Sacramento State finance Professor Sanjay Varshney says California's lack of reliance on Russian oil won't protect us from future price hikes.

"We are trading in the world market. Oil trades globally in the US dollar, and while our exposure may be limited, all of that spills over into a local economy, too, whether you live in the state of California or you're living in Madrid or India. You're gonna be exposed to what's happening in the global market for oil," he said.

The majority of California's crude oil is imported from Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Colombia. Varshney says we should consider producing more here at home.

"Even though our long-term plan is to get away from fossil fuels, we don't want to drive our economy into a major depression because we were not willing to deal with a short-term problem," he said.

Some California lawmakers are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to approve more crude oil production. We asked the Governor's Office if that was a possibility. They didn't respond.

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