BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — California State University Bakersfield has entered a new partnership with the innovative and cutting-edge science and technology laboratory known as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The school hopes the partnership doesn’t just impact the school, but also the county.

The room was filled with applause as energy leaders, school partners and others looked at a new partnership between CSU Bakersfield and Bay Area-based lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The budding partnership signals a reflection of a new future for all of Kern County.

“This is our moment colleagues and friends, and never has there been a greater need and common cause to meet the need to evolve the science of energy,” said Lynnette Zelezny, President of CSU Bakersfield.

“Our climate, national security, and prosperity of the families here in California’s energy capitol depend on the progress we will make together and that progress begins today.”

With state officials aiming to transition to carbon neutrality by 2045, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory conducted a report called “Getting to Neutral” in 2020, and found Bakersfield was a unique place of opportunity for California’s clean energy transition. The partnership between the lab and CSUB will help further research on clean energy and what that could look like here at home.

“A lot of the gas and oil infrastructure is perfect for carbon capture and storage sites, and there is an opportunity here to build a new economy based around carbon management,” said Kim Budil, Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“It’s not about getting rid of oil and gas, but really about creating a stable transition, from where the economy and where the community is today, to a more sustainable future based on clean energy technology,” Budil continued.

With Kern being the energy capital of California, the transition to clean energy will come with challenges. However, this partnership, for many, is the beginning of a bright future.

“We say all the time, ‘If it can’t happen here in Kern County, it can’t happen anywhere.’ All the ingredients are here — it’s just a matter of taking the bull by the horns and really moving forward with it,” said Sally Allen, Executive Director of the Livermore Lab Foundation. “There are many challenges of course and some obstacles to tackle, but what’s clear from the science is that it is possible and that it’s going to take all of us.”