Impact on Kern County from decision to end fossil fuel production by 2045

fossil fuel

Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Earlier in the year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation to eliminate fossil fuel production in California by 2045.

“We’ll create 4 million jobs, cut air pollution by 71%, and cut oil demand by 94%,” Gov. Gavin Newsom-CA-D, said. “Less pollution and less fossil fuels will make not only our state healthier but will save us over $200 billion in health care costs.”

Thursday, the California Air Resources board approved a plan that would allow the state to reach the governor’s goal of carbon neutrality.

But those in the oil in gas industry say this will come at a high cost.

“It will be a significant devastating impact to Kern County, both as far as jobs and tax revenue and income from the oil and gas industry,” Chris Hall, President for the Drilling and Production Company, said.

“This unrealistic plan could be incredibly devastating for Kern County’s economic vitality,” Kara Greene, spokesperson for the Western States Petroleum Association, said. “We’re talking about eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Hall is the President of Drilling and Production company, who works on oil at the Tejon Ranch at the Grapevine.

He said this new plan is on top of previous regulations they’ve had to comply with and it will mean they will most likely forced to end production earlier than the 2045 deadline.

“I’m not sure that for many of the producers that even 2045 is a date that they seem themselves still operating, so the impact on the county is going to be a rollout over time over the next 22 years,” Hall, said.

Kara Greene said oil and gas companies won’t be the only industries to suffer.

“The oil industry is funding public schools, public services, like police, other types of law enforcement, fire services, and so you have to wonder how is Kern County going to make up that difference in funding for public services,” Greene, said.

Greene said the state is mandating California drivers switch to electric vehicles, which are currently selling on average for $60,000. She said this is not very realistic for Californians.


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