Thoughts on an Interview with KPIX on Imported Canadian Crude Oil to the SF Bay

April 28, 2015 By

April 28, 2015

by David Hackett

One of the exciting parts of my job is talking to reporters about trends in the transportation energy market. Sometimes these interviews even make it to television. For the television interviews, I often spend a couple of hours with reporters and producers
laying out how the market works and discussing the finer points of the issues. From those discussions, these talented reporters and producers build their story and use a couple of sound bites from my interview on screen. These are complicated issues and it’s understandable that some of the finer points get lost in editing a short news piece.

Last Friday I did an interview with KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco. The video in which the interview is featured is shown below. I spent a couple of hours with Abby Sterling, the investigative producer, discussing crude oil flows into the San Fransisco Bay area. During the interview I made four main points that got lost in the finished story that aired on April 27th. I think it’s important to make those points clear.

  1. We will continue to need crude oil for quite some time. Folks will drive to work and school and need transportation fuel for those reasons.
  2. Crude oil that is refined to make gasoline and diesel in California comes from three main sources, local California crude oil production, Alaska and Abroad. Crude oil from Alaska and other countries is brought to California by tanker. A little bit of crude comes in by rail, but because there aren’t any commercial scale unloading facilities, almost none of that crude comes from North Dakota.
  3. California refineries have processed heavy sour Canadian crude oils for decades. Almost all that Canadian crude has come in by tanker, without environmental incident because of the industry’s strong safety processes and procedures.
  4. Most of the imported crude oil to California comes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Any increase in cheap crude oil deliveries from the midcontinent of North America would replace crude oil from those countries.

The KPIX story explained the environmental concerns of importing crude oil into the San Francisco Bay via tanker. However, stringent safety and environmental standards make delivering crude oil in this manner the safest and most cost effective option. We all want to keep the Bay safe, clean and open to commerce.