BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — With gas prices still sky-high around the country, Kern’s most influential Republicans gathered at San Joaquin Facilities Management today to talk about oil production in Kern.
Gathered at an oil extraction site in Rosedale on Monday, Kern’s leading Republican lawmakers all delivering a clear message to the party across the aisle.
“Time after time, they have stopped the innovation the investment so we can produce our own and become energy independent. This has got to change,” said Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader (R-Bakersfield).
McCarthy, Senator Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong all calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to reverse his committment to transition to renewable energy and instead approve permits to allow more drilling.
“Ever since Gavin Newsom has become Governor, his role of not providing the permits. More than 1,000 permits sit on his desk,” McCarthy said.
Nationally, Biden says over 9,000 permits have been approved that are not in use. California Independent Petroleum Association Rock Zierman says in California, those permits still rely on action from Newsom.
“Right now we have 100 permits sitting on the Governor’s desk from the BLM fully approved by the federal government but they are refusing to simply send out a notice to local tribes. If they were to do that, then those permits could be acted on and we could start drilling tomorrow,” said Rock Zierman, CIPA CEO.
It’s a sentiment that goes head-to-head with Newsom’s pledge to end oil extraction by 2045, something he reiterated during his state of the state address earlier this month.
But with gas prices still hovering at records highs, there is another partisan battle in Sacramento over how to relieve the pain at the pump. Newsom and Democrats put forth the idea of sending rebates. Republicans are pushing for suspension of the gas tax.
“If we are looking at providing immediate relief to Californians, the fastest way to do it is through a temporary gas tax suspension,” Fong said.