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Central Coast Bans on Energy Production Would Harm Workers, Hurt Local Economy

California’s oil and gas industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and pays billions in tax revenue each year, according to a new study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) released this week by the Western States Petroleum As

Central Coast Bans on Energy Production Would Harm Workers, Hurt Local Economy

California’s oil and gas industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and pays billions in tax revenue each year, according to a new study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) released this week by the Western States Petroleum Association. In contrast, local proposals to limit oil extraction could threaten these significant economic contributions and increase the state’s dependence on foreign oil sources.

The LAEDC study demonstrates the petroleum industry on the Central Coast is a huge source of jobs and economic activity. Highlights from the report include:
• In 2012, the petroleum industry contributed to 24,210 total jobs on the Central Coast and generated more than $1.6 billion in labor income.
• On the Central Coast, the state and local taxes paid by companies and individuals involved in the petroleum industry total $1.1 billion.
• In Santa Barbara County, the petroleum industry contributed to 3,414 total jobs and generated more than $349 million in labor income.
• In Monterey County, the petroleum industry contributed to 1,087 total jobs and generated more than $109 million in labor income.
• Jobs created or supported by the petroleum industry statewide generate $40 billion in labor income, which is 3.1% of California's total labor income.
• Statewide, the petroleum industry's total economic value is $113 billion, which is 5.4% of California’s total gross domestic product and is larger than the economies of 17 U.S. states.

“Thousands of quality jobs on the Central Coast come as a result of the oil and gas industry, which generates significant local tax revenues and creates buying power for our local businesses. This industry serves as an economic engine for both large and small businesses throughout our community,” said Andy Caldwell, Executive Director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB).

Santa Barbara, San Benito and Monterey Counties are considering measures to restrict safe, proven oil extraction technologies. Earlier this month, the California Chamber of Commerce designated two proposed state laws to limit oil production as “Job Killers”.

California currently produces slightly more than a third of the crude oil it needs every day to meet the demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel and seven percent of that oil comes from production on the Central Coast. The rest of the oil we need every day is imported, almost all of it in ships and much of it from foreign governments like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Ecuador, which do not have the same environmental standards as California.

“Any reduction in domestic oil production here means more dependence on foreign oil,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association. “We should be looking for ways to encourage more domestic production of oil and jobs that go with it rather than passing laws that reduce our domestic energy production.”

SafeEnergy California (SafeEnergyCalifornia)

Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Future is a coalition designed to educate the public and correct misinformation about proven, safe oil extraction technologies. For more information, visit:


Submitted by (Warren samuels) on

Jobs created can be a very misleading statistic, meaning the oil and gas companies can take credit for any far fetched connection to their industry.

We can create many, if not more jobs by decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels. Jobs created through renewable energies are sustainable as the word renewable; the sun and wind most likely aren't going to run out!

There's no peak production on a star for more than 15 billion years! I'd like to see or not see oil attempt that! Why continue driving the environment into a wall going a hundred miles per hour?

This ad is a seriously sad attempt to persuade people we actually need to continue in a desperately bad direction for humanity in the name of job creation. The jobs are there and very important, but we don't need oil jobs. They're unsustainable and dangerous .

Good try, big oil and gas!

Submitted by (Sean Hagen) on

CSUMB student here, I have done research on the topic. The goal is not to ban conventional drilling, but to ban fracking, which hurts the environment, AND the local economy, MUCH more than it helps. Fracking is very short sighted.

Submitted by (frank schubert) on

This study is so one sided and bias it is completely useless. Having worked in the O&G industry gives me a perspective on the the claims in this study.

The O&G industry, like all big business has reduced its manpower need to cut costs and, having witnessed this first hand, I can tell you these job numbers are not real at all. The reality is that California has reduced its gas needs through conservation and efficiency and can, and will, do more in the future.

The O&G industry is running scared and will keep paying for these stupid studies to try to keep their strangle hold on the American economy. I look forward to the oil free economy that is coming down the road in the not too distant future.

Individually, the O&G people are good folks, but as a group they are a dying animal that is striking out to stay alive and will take anyone they can down with them.

Harm workers??? Big oil could care less about workers.

Think about it.

Submitted by Mindy Scherr (mindysch) on

The oil & gas industry folks who submit articles & ads like this do not live here!  Of course THE INDUSTRY is going to do everything it can to protect its economic interests, using scare tactics about job losses. They WON'T talk about the way our water quality, health & property values will plummet once the irreversible damage of fracking & extreme extraction methods is done. I choose instead to listen to friends with family in Texas, who've experienced the negative consequences of fracking first hand. I will trust Joe Citizen over a CEO or company spokesperson any day. 

San Benito Rising has not submitted any data to support its claims specific to San Benito County. All the group is doing is preaching gloom and doom with zero evidence that existing or future petroleum will cause environmental harm in order to foist its belief system on an ill informed community. 

The status quo system of environmental review for energy extraction works and the State of California is in the process of implementing Senate Bill 4: the most stringent regulations of hydraulic fracturing in the United States. Those who deny the value of the energy industry should donate their petroleum powered vehicles to the Sierra Club as a genuine act of faith in this misguided effort to ban oil and gas business in San Benito County. 

Submitted by (Will McGuire) on

Anyone remember the little town of Hinkley, it used to be just north of Barstow, CA - a small farming community, mostly dairy and hay farmers, it's now mostly deserted, the water and land poisoned with chemicals used by PG&E, here's a 2011 update to the story

Submitted by (Chris Martorana) on

Great sales job here. Banging away at the jobs issue. It's really their only choice.
I'm more concerned with the threat to our water supply. That's the concern my neighbors are talking about. Even giving the industry the benefit of the doubt, there's enough cause for concern that I'm simply unwilling to chance it.
San Benito county is an oasis on the edge of the metropolis. Bringing in hundreds or thousands of outsiders to compete for the already expensive rental homes doesn't sound great to me. Sure they'll spend money. They'll also send a big chunk of it back home. It'll bring the sorts of development we don't want. How long will the boom last? What do the boom towns look like 30 years on?
How about a couple statistics from the other side:
The U.S. is the 3rd largest oil producing country in the world as of 2013 and is on track to be the largest in 2015. Where's the foreign oil dependence I keep hearing about?
The U.S. government says 6-7% of the well caps they're going to use to protect our water will fail. 6-7%. That doesn't sound real safe to me.
The industry is exempt from the EPA clean air and clean water standards. That's a dirty little secret they really don't want you to know.
I say we stop the 'tracking' until we know our water supply is truly protected. It doesn't have to be forever, but we need to put the brakes on so we can keep San Benito County and the rest of the Central Coast from being the latest Superfund site.


The problem with your risk averse philosophy is that it denies all property owners and oil company interests from exercising their constitutional rights to utilize their respective property and/or mineral rights thus denying them equal protection under the law and taking away their legal rights. In doing so, you are obligating the San Benito County Government to defend such action at all costs, exposing the county to extremely expensive litigation. In case you hadn't heard, the county is deficit spending as it is; i.e. we're broke and can't afford such a law suit. From what I've heard, oil company lawyers have already committed to legal action against the county when and if the initiative becomes law and impacts their clients rights to earn a rate of return on their investments. And I'm guessing that we are talking tens of millions of dollars in legal costs/punitive damages, etc. San Benito Rising doesn't provide any cost accounting for the potential legal liability likely to be borne by the taxpayers of San Benito County here. 

There is some precedent under the law - development in Lake Tahoe has been curtailed due to proven environmental impacts to the lake - but in this case, I would argue, there is no data available that equates petroleum extraction in San Benito County with pollution/contamination of the water supply. You can believe that it will, but there is no data to support that belief. 

Some comment that the oil industry is a greedy, evil entity that deserves to be denied its right to conduct business here based on everything from the Exxon Valdez to the Gulf Oil spill. But denying them the right to conduct business here will become a very expensive proposition that we cannot afford. When the issue goes to court, the oil industry will call on the federal government EPA and the State of California/Senate Bill 4 as well as local planning laws - all which currently support oil and gas extraction/production - in defense of their rights to conduct business under the Commerce Clause and San Benito County government will be left holding the bag as it were.

I totally understand the emotional response that San Benito Rising has elicited from its supporters. It's an easy message to sell - poisoned water - that simply does not have precedent here in the county. And San Benito Rising/Sierra Club is immune to the legal costs to defend the new law. 

The oil industry is NOT exempt from Senate Bill 4 in California. The State of California has primacy authority to meet or exceed federal EPA standards for clean air and clean water standards which it has already established. And that's a dirty little secret that San Benito Rising doesn't want anyone to know. 



Submitted by (Will McGuire) on

Hummm, now who's using "Scare Tactics?", Now Michael you are starting to get it!, there is a "High Moral Cause" as you say, that never seemed to enter your mind before! Good For You!

Submitted by (Chris Martorana) on

Maybe it hasn't occurred to you that we understand the impacts and simply don't think they outweigh the other risks. It's a judgement call we each need to make. Also, people believing what they want afflicts both sides. That's human nature.
Here are a couple questions: do you believe the City can legally restrict how tall a building I build on my lot? What is the legal basis for them to do so? Why can't I sink a well in my backyard?
I don't want to pay the high water rates in San Juan. Aren't they impinging on my rights? I want to put a retail complex on the bottom floor. Isn't that an unfair restriction? When your actions affect those around you, they get to have input. The difficulty here is we don't know what the impact will be. The land owners are going to affect my water too. That's not OK with me.
How long has the State been studying the effects? They haven't. They've only recently put in place guidelines and started collecting ANY data related to 'fracking' operations. That's the problem with so many of the arguments being raised. No one knows what the effects will be. I'm asking to hold off until we get better data on which to base a decision.
By the way, I don't trust the government to make a decision consistent with my wishes. There's too much money involved.


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