BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET-TV) — Representatives from Kern’s oil industry are expected to attend and present about oil in the Golden Empire at the upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.
Members of Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration also are set to be in attendance.
Kern county produces 134 million barrels of oil per year, accounting for nearly 75 percent of California’s oil production. We’re the top oil producing county in the state, and among the highest in the nation.
“The governor’s actions have the potential to devastate our county,” said Tracy leach, director of Kern Citizens for Energy. She worries the governor’s policies could significantly impact the roughly 23,500 people either directly employed or associated with Kern’s oil industry.
“We need to produce it here. It should be produced by Californians and for Californians,” Leach said. “The tax benefits and high standards for health, safety, and the environment that California has — that’s where we should be producing oil, not coming from foreign countries which do not have the same standards nor the same respect for human rights that ca does.”
“I hope the governor’s representatives listen to the people of Kern County. We have to have the understanding that we have to diversify the economy.”
She’s encouraging as many people as possible to attend Tuesday afternoon’s board of supervisors meeting — a meeting set to feature presentations from those who work in the oil industry. Representatives from Governor Newsom’s administration.
Juan Flores with the Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment said he supports the oil industry and the jobs it brings to our economy, but he believes Kern County must also embrace other industries in the future.
“We’re not talking about shutting down oil operations,” Flores said. “We have the opportunity to transition from gas vehicles to electric vehicles and electrified homes as much as we can. What we’re saying is let’s get ready,” he continued.
“If we can extract oil for 200 years, and yet we still have a plan to diversify our economy, isn’t that most healthy for our economy? Isn’t that what our community members would benefit the most?”
The board can take a few actions, including the request of an economic impact report or declaring an economic state of emergency.
If you wish to attend, it will take place at 2 pm here at the county administrative center downtown on Truxtun Avenue. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early.