County Supervisors set to hear public comment Monday on oil, gas drilling permitting ordinance

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — County Supervisors are set to hold a public hearing Monday on a much-debated ordinance to streamline Kern’s oil and gas permitting process.

The ordinance would add about 40,000 new wells to the county by 2036. It would be boon to the local oil industry; Kern Citizens for Energy says it would create an additional 25,000 job openings.

“What keeps me up at night is whether we’ll have permitting support in this state in order to put people back to work,” Erik Bartsch, CEO of Aera Energy LLC said. “Permitting is a controllable element of the business environment and it really needs help.”

But environmental activists aren’t sold on it.

“Allowing oil and gas drilling near homes, near schools, near hospitals, to occur in neighborhoods, is completely inappropriate,” Ingrid Brostrom of The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment said.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday morning at 9 a.m.

17’s Jim Scott and Bartsch and Brostrom discussed this issue for the latest episode of “Kern County: In Depth.” You can watch that episode at this link.

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