Energy expert Catherine Reheis-Boyd on what California does to hurt itself and what it needs to do if it wants to deliver on its climate goals
“Oil is not the enemy. Emissions are the enemy.”
That is one of the emphatic points made by Catherine Reheis-Boyd on NFIB California’s podcast on the current energy situation. The Sacramento-based Reheis-Boyd is nonpareil in her expertise of the energy industry, having spent 40 years in the field. She is currently president and CEO of the Western States Petroleum Association.
As for the soaring prices at the pump everyone is seeing, Reheis-Boyd says, “There’s a lot of factors that influence the movement of the price of gasoline and diesel, but I think the primary driver really is the dynamics of supply and demand of crude oil. Why? Because just like any global commodity, if you’re short on supply and you’re high on demand, prices go up.”
“We can actually produce crude oil in a carbon-negative way,” she says. “Why would we not want to do that?” One reason we don’t is California’s singular way of having policies that, she says, not only harm its economy but also hamper its own environmental goals.
“We produce only 30% of the crude we need. Could we produce more? You bet we could produce more. If we don’t produce more, it just means more foreign imports, which increases greenhouse gases, loses jobs, loses tax revenue for the state. There is no logical reason why you would not want to produce more crude oil in California versus importing it.”
Increasing crude oil production, however, does not mean stopping or rolling back on positive environment initiatives that, Reheis-Boyd says, the energy industry is helping to engineer. “Our role, in a broader sense, is really to ensure … that we continue to have reliable access to petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas through policies that are three things: socially, economically, and environmentally responsible … it is a balance between the environment and the economy. They go hand-in-glove.”
Click the arrow below to listen to the interview with Catherine Reheis-Boyd. You can also find it and all past NFIB California podcasts here.