(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp.’s home is in California but Texas is where the heart is, judging by comments from Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth.
Speaking in Houston, the Chevron boss lavished praise on Texas’s resource base, its skilled workforce and overall business environment while criticizing policies back in the Golden State.
“The policies in California have become pretty restrictive on a lot of business fronts, not just the environment,” he said Wednesday at a gathering organized by the Greater Houston Partnership. “I don’t know there’s a better place in the world for us to do business than” Texas and the Gulf Coast.
It’s not just California’s energy policies that are bugging Wirth. About half a million homes and businesses in the north of the state lost power Wednesday as utility giant PG&E Corp. carried out a planned blackout. Wirth’s house was affected.
“My home in California is without power today because the utility company hasn’t focused on the fundamentals,” he said.
Chevron’s headquarters are in San Ramon, less than an hour’s drive from San Francisco, where its earliest predecessor, Pacific Coast Oil Co., was founded 140 years ago. Yet the company’s largest office is in Houston and a growing portion of its business is either located in, or controlled by, Texas. Almost 20% of Chevron’s year’s capital spending is allocated to the Permian Basin, the country’s largest oil patch.
“The challenge for Texas is to continue to be a leader in energy development and set the standards high for the environment,” Wirth said.
The CEO’s comments prompted a suggestion from his interviewer at the event, Bobby Tudor, the founder of Houston-based investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. “If California ever decides they don’t want one of the world’s great oil companies, we will take you in Houston,” Tudor quipped.
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