Small businesses call on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to drill for oil

The campaign comes as gas prices in California are more than a dollar above the national average.
The plunge in U.S. crude oil prices this week reverberated across global financial markets.

A new billboard ad campaign is calling on Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to drill for oil in California.

The Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy organization, launched the campaign on Wednesday to bring "attention to the state’s reliance on foreign oil," the group said in a press release.

Four billboards in Bakersfield, and one in Sacramento, boast messages such as "HEY GAVIN, Wish you loved American oil as much as you love your truffle oil," in a reference to Newsom's COVID dining scandal at an upscale French Laundry restaurant.

Another says "HEY GOVERNOR Why do you prefer getting oil from Russia rather than California?"

A mobile billboard will be circling the California State House in Sacramento.

All of the billboards end with the same message: "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. What are you waiting for?"

The campaign to drill in the state will last at least a month.

California imports 75% of its oil from abroad. Before the federal ban, 6% of the state's oil came from Russia, the Job Creators Network noted.

A poll from JCN last month revealed that 80% of small businesses support domestic energy production increases.

"All Americans are feeling the financial squeeze of high gas prices. But when the anti-drilling policies of the Golden State are coupled with those of the Biden administration, the more than four million small businesses in California are experiencing an outsized negative impact," JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said.

In California, a regular gallon of gas costs an average of $5.76, AAA observed. This is more than a dollar above the national average, which was $4.23 on Wednesday.

"Ballooning costs at the pump are pushing transport costs through the roof, which is only adding to the financial pressure caused by broader inflation," Ortiz added.