Story at a glance

  • A new study shows that California consumes more oil from the Amazon than any other state in the nation.
  • Close to 70% percent of the crude oil drilled in the Amazon is shipped to the United States.
  • Oil collected in the Amazon and brought to the U.S. is mostly refined in three locations in the Golden State.

California consumes more oil from the Amazon rainforest than any other state in the country, according to a new report first shared with NBC News. 

The report compiled by the environmental groups Stand.earth and Amazon Watch claims that 50 percent of the oil drilled in the Amazon is then shipped to the state of California, a large portion of which is sent to the nation’s top three refineries, Marathon, Chevron and Valero, which are all located in the state. 

Out of all the barrels of crude oil from the Amazon brought to the U.S., 27 percent go to Marathon, 22 percent to Valero and 17 percent to Chevron, according to the report. 


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“There is no other region in the world consuming more oil from the Amazon than California,” the report reads. Several major companies including American Airlines, COSTCO, Amazon.com, Fedez, UPS, Pepsi, Albertsons and Kroger are connected to oil drilling in the Amazon via the California supply chain, the report argues. 

Los Angeles International Airport uses a huge amount of oil from the Amazon rainforest as well, the report adds, more than any other airport in the country. The report notes that one out of every six gallons of jet fuel pumped at LAX is made from refined oil drilled in the Amazon. 

Overall, the United States is the largest consumer of oil taken from beneath the Amazon on the planet. According to the report, close to 90 percent of the crude oil extracted from the Amazon comes from Ecuador and 66 percent of that oil is exported to the U.S. 

About one in nine gallons of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel pumped in the country comes from oil collected from the Amazon, and in Southern California that number worsens to one in seven gallons, the report adds. 

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States with movement of cars, buses, trucks and planes emitting 29 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Crafters of the report are calling on corporate leadership to stop new oil expansion in the Amazon, to develop transparent and traceable fuel sourcing policies and to get “aggressive” goals for electric car use and other efforts to lower fossil fuel consumption. 

The environmental groups are also urging California government leadership to pursue an energy policy agenda that does not contribute to increased oil drilling in the Amazon and to push to transition public transportation fleets from fossil fuel-using vehicles to electric vehicles among other things. 


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Published on Dec 02, 2021