Patterico's Pontifications


Chevron Moves Hundreds of Employees to Texas from California

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:32 pm


Chevron Corp. will move as many as 800 jobs to Houston from its California headquarters to support its exploration and production operations, the company told employees Thursday.

The oil giant will maintain its corporate headquarters in San Ramon – just east of San Francisco – where 6,500 employees work.

In an email to its workers, Chevron said jobs moving to Houston include employees in support groups involved with technology, procurement and business development.

“Moves in these groups are expected to take place over the next two years to support our growing upstream business,” the company email said.

I wonder how many businesses are relocating employees from Texas to California. Somehow, I suspect not many.


  1. Ding.

    Comment by Patterico (a25fb3) — 12/23/2012 @ 10:41 pm

  2. Some may not recall that Chevron was formerly Standard Oil of California — known popularly as “SoCal” and then just “Standard” for many years before the Chevron brand name was promulgated. Chevron had already absorbed Gulf and later Texaco and Unocal. Chevron has had a huge presence in Texas for many decades, and I had the privilege of helping represent it in court a few times in the 1980s. I admire the company, but its quiet political and economic savvy is formidable, and it doesn’t make decisions like this one lightly or without full consideration of all possible blowback. The Chevron folks who do agree to move to Texas will be very welcome here.

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/23/2012 @ 10:50 pm

  3. “The oil giant will maintain its corporate headquarters in San Ramon – just east of San Francisco – where 6,500 employees work.”

    If the business climate here in CA manages to get worse, it wouldn’t be a surprise if these remaining 6500 depart as well, along with the official HQ.

    Comment by Blacque Jacques Shellacque (4a3a74) — 12/23/2012 @ 11:07 pm

  4. I hope that everyone understands that by transferring Californians to Texas will simply result another failed state.

    Liberalism is akin to a virus. It infects the host until it almost dies and moves to a new host for the sweet cells that can keep it going until it can find a another host.

    Unfortunately it always mutates, along with the population, to convince its carriers that the disease they fled will not kill them this time.

    It is insidious and there is no vaccine.

    Comment by Ag80 (b2c81f) — 12/23/2012 @ 11:21 pm

  5. Sorry, result “in” another failed state.

    Comment by Ag80 (b2c81f) — 12/23/2012 @ 11:23 pm

  6. I confess to have taken a dark, cynical pleasure from time to time in the misfortune of others.

    Kali has really ruined this hobby of mine. Its like seeing a stray hit by a bus.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/23/2012 @ 11:27 pm

  7. Unless there are drastic changes in Sacramento, and political power centers throughout the state, due to this wake-up call sent by Chevron, we will see Chevron’s HQ moved to Houston NLT five-years from now.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/23/2012 @ 11:50 pm

  8. How many fruits and nuts does it take to turn a state from red to blue?

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/24/2012 @ 3:00 am

  9. We know that EPA and other restrictions, have caused Valero, one of the discount gas retailers to close up shop.

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 4:46 am

  10. Here was that story;

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 4:48 am

  11. The situation in California for the past two decades has done wonders for Oregon and Arizona.
    Now, add Texas to the list.

    Comment by Neo (d1c681) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:42 am

  12. somewhere I read the largest numbers moving to Cali were Texans. Odd that. Though I’ve run into a few who had moved, but moved back ASAP.
    My fer is that all these moving here from Cali are gonna try their damnedest to replicate their form of stupidity before we get ours better than it is (and with some form of fixing permanence to keep it running right). One of the things saving us is the legislature only meets every so often (Starts the january after the election, then closes ASAP and no session until after the next election) and not constantly. This means all out critters are primarily not politicians and have other jobs or duties of some sort.

    Comment by JP Kalishek (6652ba) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:16 am

  13. My guess would be that this move is being driven by management personnel who are going to be hit by higher tax rates just passed in California. It might be that the impact of those rates on 20-30 management personnel has the company moving those managers and large segments of their departments to Texas. Likely targeted at jobs where there is no specific reason to keep them in California.

    Comment by shipwreckedcrew (ff598b) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:29 am

  14. Well it’s all the things, that Valero is selling their holdings for,

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:30 am

  15. The link says these are upstream E&P jobs, shipwrecked crew. Those are jobs related to finding and producing oil and gas, something I suspect Chevron thinks won’t be needed in California but will be needed in Texas.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:33 am

  16. GE has already started to hire 400 more people in San Ramon. GE must see some sort of advantage to doing so.

    Comment by LTMG (9138df) — 12/24/2012 @ 11:17 am

  17. Um, isn’t GE’s major interest nowadays in keeping the Powers That Be happy?

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 12/24/2012 @ 11:30 am

  18. I know Alan Simpson, the Progressive State’s tax collector, says ‘if we don’t deal with entitlements we haven’t done anything’.

    But we gots to have Depts. of Education, Energy and the EPA, the SEC, the FCC, ad infinitum.


    So when Argentina, Greece, Spain and Kali(and every municipality therein) walk away from their entitlement obligations we can do the same, with impunity?

    We’re gonna find out real soon, kids.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/24/2012 @ 1:08 pm

  19. Gotta keep an eye on Billy G. every click.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/24/2012 @ 1:09 pm

  20. As LTMG said above, GE announced in 2011 that it was hiring 400 for a new data center in San Ramon. The link says it also opened centers in Detroit and Richmond VA.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/24/2012 @ 1:49 pm

  21. 15. GE has already started to hire 400 more people in San Ramon. GE must see some sort of advantage to doing so.

    Comment by LTMG (9138df) — 12/24/2012 @ 11:17 am

    GE probably sees the same sort of advantage that Solyndra saw; federal and state subsidies for some “green” energy boondoggle that otherwise couldn’t exist as there’s no market without the crony capitalism venture socialism that the “soft marxist” (formerly known as fascist until fascism got a bad name) is rife with.

    GE’s CEO is a rent-seeker of the worst order. He hates free markets. And he’s not too shy to tell you that.

    Obama Adviser, GE CEO Immelt: China’s Communism Works Just Fine

    Why compete in free markets when you can use your government connections to eliminate rivals and feed at the public trough?

    Comment by Steve57 (b64cdf) — 12/24/2012 @ 1:58 pm

  22. Why would an oil company want to stay in a state that hates Big Oil and taxes and regulates them more than any other state?

    Are they racists?!

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 12/24/2012 @ 2:19 pm

  23. Ag80 wrote:

    I hope that everyone understands that by transferring Californians to Texas will simply result (in) another failed state.

    No, because they are transferring productive Californians to Texas. The more productive you are, the more probable it is you will be conservative.

    Comment by The economist Dana (f68855) — 12/24/2012 @ 3:36 pm

  24. Now, if Chevron had just picked up everybody, and started singing, “California, her I go,” it might be different. The people who will be impacted by your idiotic millionaires tax can afford the tax, and can afford to stay, and they have wives or husbands who have other careers and friends and family in the Pyrite State.

    The Democrats know that, and they are betting that the other concerns will keep most of the top producers who could leave in the state, at a sufficient rate that the higher taxes will make up for the lost population.

    I’d guess that they’d be right on that . . . for a few years, anyway. The problem exists at the margins, and the loss of top people will be slower, not faster.

    Comment by The realistic Dana (f68855) — 12/24/2012 @ 3:43 pm

  25. Where the loss of a company HQ shows up – and that is the probable, long-term outlook here – is in the drying up of sizable charitable-giving in the local economy as those highly paid execs leave, and the company transfers its own charitable-giving to its new home-town.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/24/2012 @ 4:09 pm

  26. One suspects that is the point of the exercise,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/24/2012 @ 4:10 pm


    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/24/2012 @ 4:45 pm

  28. The realistic Dana,

    Yes, but Chevron is transferring its primary economic producers, the people who actually find and produce oil and gas. The downstream (refining) employees will stay in California but that’s a losing venture. Management will stay, too, but they will have to be replaced at some point. Does California and its universities have knowledgeable, qualified oil and gas professionals to replace them with? Or will Chevron have to lure them from other states and, if so, how hard will that be?

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:15 pm

  29. For instance, look at what you find if you search UCLA’s website for “oil and gas.” It sounds like it’s all about how dirty and dangerous the industry is. Here are USC’s oil and gas offerings. The computer offerings seem valuable but I’m not sure about the rest.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:22 pm

  30. I used to work right across the street from the Chevron campus in Bishop Ranch (San Ramon). I’m sure many other companies will be following their lead.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (63240d) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:59 pm

  31. Sam Donaldson thinks its the parasites country now.

    Have another drink Sam, your odds will look twice as good.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:09 pm

  32. pure comic gold in the comments here

    ya gotta love 8)

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 12/25/2012 @ 12:12 am

  33. 31. Colorado does have better snow.
    Snow in California is like skiing in bubble gum and cinder blocks.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/25/2012 @ 12:39 am

  34. 21.Why would an oil company want to stay in a state that hates Big Oil and taxes and regulates them more than any other state?

    This isn’t correct as regards taxes since California (unlike most states) doesn’t have an oil severance tax although that may change.

    Comment by James B. Shearer (e64877) — 12/25/2012 @ 9:51 am

  35. 31. “Pure comic gold in the comments here”

    I don’t know if it was my connection, but I got:

    We’re sorry, but we have encountered an error while retrieving the comments.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (072cd5) — 12/25/2012 @ 11:56 am

  36. I got the comments now. They appear to be in reverse chronological order, with the last added on December 22.

    I don’t know which ones you are referring to. Some could be funny.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (69aa73) — 12/25/2012 @ 12:10 pm

  37. It will be brutal when reality drops like a meteor on the Bay Area, and there will be no gas to put into their hybrids,
    no moving electrons in that wiring in the wall, and even the water from Hetch-Hetchy will be but a dribble.

    Some will stand at the summit of Altamont Pass and laugh, others will applaud;
    and then they will turn their backs on a Paradise that committed suicide,
    and go where civilization is still possible (and rational).

    Comment by askeptic, aka Bah, Humbug! (2bb434) — 12/25/2012 @ 1:05 pm

  38. An oil severance fee, works in Alaska, because it is the only real revenue source, but honestly, are they insane, it’s like imposing Mad Max conditions voluntarily,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/25/2012 @ 1:14 pm

  39. narciso, this is CA, the legislature is a priori insane.

    Comment by askeptic, (2bb434) — 12/25/2012 @ 1:51 pm

  40. I was being rhetorical, yikes is the only proper reaction,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/25/2012 @ 1:53 pm

  41. In CA, we have come to expect the irrational, the unserious, and the insane from the Progressive-controlled legislature in Sacramento.
    It is remarkable only when they do something that is completely within their purview, and is an attempt to positively affect the culture within the state.
    Their very being is a crime-against-humanity, it is madness!

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:00 pm

  42. That only happens in the ‘bearded spock’ universe, with the Zeppelin ports

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:02 pm

  43. I was puzzled by Ag80′s “failed state” comment too. There is no downside to Texas from these jobs moving here. It’s all gravy from top to bottom for Texas, all poop-sandwich for California, politically and economically both. Members of the leftmost leaning fringe may value staying in California more than keeping that particular job, in which case the job moves without the body currently filling it. CA gets a hungry mouth or another competitor in a shrinking job market whose tax base is also shrinking. TX gets a quality wage-paying job (and tax-base addition) which by definition will be filled by someone who wants to be in Texas.

    Economically this has a serious multiplier effect, and its positive impact will extend considerably beyond the people and families who are relocating. And while no job is “permanent” anymore, these will have as long-term an impact as can be had in the 21st Century worldwide economy.

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:37 pm

  44. As for California attitudes infecting Texas: Dude — Hollywood and Big Media already inundate us with nanny-Bluestatism daily. It’s not like we don’t have lefties here in Texas or have walled ourselves off from their influence and ideas. We have lefties, too: Lloyd Doggett and Jerry Brown are peas in a pod on different coasts. We just have ‘em outnumbered here on a statewide basis for now, and whether that continues has more to do with conservative/GOP politicians’ performance over time in the future.

    Now, if Texas’ welfare benefits ever exceed California’s, that would be a whole nuther thing altogether. Someday that will indeed happen, not because California’s voters will permit it, but because eventually the Receiver/Trustee who takes over control of its bankrupt state government will so decree when there is no money, no credit, no nothing to pay for it. But even when that happens, a lot of the refugees Texas would welcome least will probably self-select to other destinations.

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:47 pm

  45. Re: Ag80′s comment, I think the downside is these Californians bring their attitudes and voting patterns to Texas. It’s possible (but unlikely) that they are as conservative as Texans are, so that might make it a little easier for the communities they settle in to turn purple.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:48 pm

  46. DRJ, you think living in CA is a better predictor of political leaning than working for Chevron?

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:49 pm

  47. And Texas needs to change to defined contributions public pensions instead of defined benefits, or we’ll be facing a small version of California sooner than I’d like.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:51 pm

  48. For the educational reasons you pointed out, we may simply be recapturing a lot of ex-pat native or one-time Texans.

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:51 pm

  49. DRJ, you think living in CA is a better predictor of political leaning than working for Chevron?

    Absolutely. Put in “California” and “Chevron” at and all you see is Obama.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:53 pm

  50. Granted, there are several Republican donations at the local/state level but very few for President.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:54 pm

  51. We may be recapturing them but that doesn’t mean they are the same persons, Beldar. They’ve marinated in a blue state environment. It’s like the Louisiana refugees that came to Houston after Katrina. You can’t tell me their attitudes and lifestyles didn’t affect Houston.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:57 pm

  52. And having said all this, I still want them. I want everyone to move to Texas or, if they can’t move here, to come visit for extended periods.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:58 pm

  53. It’s good for people to marinate in a red state now and then.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:59 pm

  54. In fairness, though, you don’t see as many but you see a fair number of Obamas if you put in “Texas” and “Chevron” at What’s wrong with your fellow Houstonians, Beldar?

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:03 pm

  55. It’s like the Louisiana refugees that came to Houston after Katrina. You can’t tell me their attitudes and lifestyles didn’t affect Houston.

    The point is that in the long term we are screwed because the culture is moving towards one of dependency, with freedoms being surrendered in exchange for the ministrations of the welfare state. States like Texas may be better at plugging the dam, but ultimately it will burst and the flood will overrun them too. The die has been cast, and all that. Even when we get a Republican President, the “progress” will only be temporarily slowed, never halted or rolled back.

    Sorry to deliver a bummer message on Christmas. Merry Christmas to all the Patterico readers.

    Comment by JVW (30a532) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:04 pm

  56. DRJ, you make some excellent points as we’re speculating, but I still dunno. I’m sure every big oil company employs some percentage of hard-core environmentalists, for example, but on the whole I think the selection bias against going to work for oil companies is pretty strong on the left. Certainly in jury selection throughout the years mostly on the defense/big-business side, I’ve been much happier to see white-collar oil industry members of the venire than, say, educators, postal workers, or government employees. My rose-colored glasses tell me these folks may have been irritated by the anti-business nanny-statists among whom they’ve been living, rather than influenced by them.

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:09 pm

  57. That may be true. We may end up with everyone fending for themselves. If so, I’d rather be in Texas.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:11 pm

  58. My last comment was responding to JVW.

    Beldar, I don’t share your positive attitude but I’d be happy to lose this argument.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:12 pm

  59. In fairness, though, you don’t see as many but you see a fair number of Obamas if you put in “Texas” and “Chevron” at What’s wrong with your fellow Houstonians, Beldar?

    The GOP would be best off to forget about Big Business. Ever since Clinton, Big Business has figured out how to play both sides. They know that the GOP is ideologically oriented towards taking their side, so they feel free to donate lots of money to key Democrats in order to cover themselves from both ends.

    And screw Big Business anyway. These are the idiots who manage to pay their CEOs huge bonuses even in years where their stock tanks and profits plunge down to the basement. The GOP would be better off washing their hands of the Fortune 500 and letting Democrats micro-manage them to oblivion. The GOP should instead redouble their efforts to being the party of the entrepreneur and small-businessman. All those demographic groups that we are supposed to be sucking up to — Latinos, gays, single moms, etc. — may be more likely to give us a fair hearing if we approach it this way.

    Comment by JVW (30a532) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:14 pm

  60. I do believe it’s possible these Chevron folks can be won back from the dark side.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:14 pm

  61. That may be true. We may end up with everyone fending for themselves. If so, I’d rather be in Texas.

    Fair point. Some states will always be better off than others. I just think that everyone’s quality of life is going to be worsening in the coming years.

    Comment by JVW (30a532) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:15 pm

  62. DRJ, Obama gets contributors and voters in Harris County whom other Democrats can’t attract. Bill White — who’d swept Houston repeatedly in his nonpartisan mayoral races and remains very popular here — didn’t get anything remotely like Obama’s numbers in 2010 when White ran against Perry in a partisan race.

    I don’t wanna say that Obama is sui generis (although I hope he might be), but I’m hesitant to draw sweeping conclusions about how other Dem candidates will do in the future from how he did in either 2008 or 2012. (My liberal friends call this “willful blindness,” and I take their point.)

    Comment by Beldar (1a3f6b) — 12/25/2012 @ 3:18 pm

  63. That’s more than likely true, I can’t imagine a Martin O’Malley or Red Squaw, herself would have that level of support,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/25/2012 @ 4:19 pm

  64. Nate Silver, was projecting because Obama lost Alaska by 14 instead of 22 points, that it will become a swing state,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/25/2012 @ 4:45 pm

  65. DRJ laments:

    Re: Ag80′s comment, I think the downside is these Californians bring their attitudes and voting patterns to Texas. It’s possible (but unlikely) that they are as conservative as Texans are, so that might make it a little easier for the communities they settle in to turn purple.

    All that would do is make California more Democratic: the people fleeing the Pyrite State are probably more conservative and more Republican than average, people seeking economic opportunity, not welfarism. It’s possible that they’ll be bringing more socially liberal attitudes with them, but economically, they’re just the people you want.

    Comment by The optimistic Dana (f68855) — 12/25/2012 @ 5:30 pm

  66. The realistic Dana,

    But they aren’t really coming voluntarily. Chevron is transferring its employees to Texas. It’s true they can decline the transfer but that likely means they will be out of a job, and I’m not aware of many other oil and gas companies in California where they can get jobs.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 5:56 pm

  67. I should have written that to the optimistic Dana. Sorry, Dana!

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 5:57 pm

  68. none are so blind as those who refuse to see, Sammy. these gems of brilliant insight were found in less than 30 seconds of scanning comments:

    scola 7:33 AM on December 21, 2012
    I’m going to guess that if it is a mix of IT and “advanced energy” technology that 400 of those people will quit rather than move to Houston. I mean, on the one hand there are a plethora of opportunities in the Bay Area for those fields, and if the people are any good, with the amount of VC capital flying and funding firm expansion, they could get a job by dinnertime. On the other hand, who wants to live in Houston?

    Bad decision on Chevron’s part if you ask me. Good news for local firms.

    sagefeldemeyer6 7:41 AM on December 21, 2012
    Good riddance! There–I said it! Do we have to depend on dirty energy, 20th century jobs to have a thriving economy? Time to change the paradigm, while we STILL have a planet earth that is habitable.

    ddopinion 8:35 AM on December 21, 2012
    Good riddance if they closed the refineries…not realistic, but I still wish it.

    malcolmketterin 7:21 AM on December 21, 2012
    good philosophical question for our time, are jobs at a sociopathic corporation worth saving in an extremely job-poor area? just how far must we sell ourselves out?

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 12/25/2012 @ 6:00 pm

  69. well DRJ, we’ve certainly done everything we can to get those nasty polluters out of our paradise.


    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 12/25/2012 @ 6:03 pm

  70. I believe Beldar’s hope is that, simply by working for an oil company, these employees will be more conservative and/or more receptive to conservative ideas. However, I agree with him that Texas oil and gas managers and employees are more conservative than business employees in general.

    Exploring for and producing oil and gas are risky ventures. Thus, while people who do that for a living have to be risk-takers, the successful ones quickly learn to limit avoidable risks. I think that’s why many are conservatives, especially among independent operators but also at the major oil and gas companies. But I have no idea what California’s Chevron managers and employees are like, but my suspicion is they are not as conservative.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 6:05 pm

  71. redc1c4,

    If those comments are typical of 20%-40% of Californians, how many Chevron employees even tell their neighbors or friends where they work? But it’s also possible that the more conservative among them will be glad to transfer and the rest will look for other job opportunities, if possible.

    As one comment suggests, maybe the IT people can find other jobs that aren’t oil and gas-related, but it strikes me as difficult for mid- to upper-lever people to find comparable pay and seniority. But engineers, geologists, and other employees whose work is based on their oil and gas knowledge might not have many other options.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/25/2012 @ 6:12 pm

  72. On leaving “paradise”….
    IIRC when Nissan closed its HQ next to Ascot Speedway in Gardena (though they may have been located in that one-block wide strip that connected L.A. proper to Wilmington/San Pedro) and relocated to TN, they had many more volunteers to move than they had positions that were moving with a body.
    A lot of their employees that made the move had to pay their own way, and this was 10 years ago when things were still looking up.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/25/2012 @ 7:24 pm

  73. Resident Evil & i are finally starting to discuss what it would take to GTFO of Failifornia, and Texas is on the short list of acceptable destinations.

    if we pull the trigger and leave, wherever we land will get a little redder, not bluer. however, as we are both natives, it’s an option we really don’t want to exercise, but it’s looking less and less like we’ll have a choice.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 12/25/2012 @ 7:36 pm

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