Petroleum energy companies in the West provide the vast quantities of gasoline diesel, jet fuel and natural gas essential to fueling our economy. Fourten refineries in California, five in Washington and one in Hawaii provide the fuel used throughout the West.
The largest consumer of fuel among those states by far is California -- the third largest gasoline consuming entity on earth, behind only the United States as a whole and China. Every day, 365 days a year, California consumes about 42 million gallons of gasoline, 14 million gallons of diesel fuel, and another 11 million gallons of jet fuel.
California also uses an average of 6.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day for electricity generation, home heating and cooking, industrial processes and many other purposes.
The petroleum industry in the West is a major source of jobs and economic activity. In California alone, an estimated 332,968 jobs are directly and indirectly linked to the petroleum industry. Of these, 16,165 are jobs associated with petroleum refining and 21,244 are jobs associated with oil extraction.
Petroleum companies are major supporters of charitable, cultural and educational organizations and activities in the communities in which they are located. In addition to providing financial support, petroleum company employees donate their time and energy to improving the communities in which they live and work.
The petroleum industry is a major source of tax revenue for state and local services throughout the West. The production, refining, transport and sale of oil and natural gas products generates billions of dollars in tax revenues. In California, the petroleum industry is responsible for generating $8.7 billion in sales taxes, personal income taxes and other taxes annually.
Climate Change and Alternative Energy
To meet the growing demand for energy, the world must diversify its energy portfolio to include wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal and other energy sources – along with petroleum. WSPA members are leading investors in new energy technologies.
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry, including many WSPA members, invested $71 billion in new low and zero emissions technologies to reduce carbon emissions between 2000 and 2010 – 38 percent of the $188 billion spent by all other U.S. industries and the federal government combined.
Those investments included improved management of carbon-emitting products, replacement for fuels, and energy efficiency technologies like combined heat and power generation.
Between 2007 and 2008, oil and gas companies’ greenhouse gas emissions declined by 56 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, equal to removing 11.2 million cars from the nation’s roads.
The safety of workers, communities and the environment is a top priority for California’s petroleum industry. The petroleum industry’s workplace safety record is significantly better than the manufacturing sector as a whole.