Energy Production Plays a Key Role in Valley’s Economy by Creating Jobs and Funding Schools

Energy Production Plays a Key Role in Valley’s Economy by Creating Jobs and Funding Schools

June 14, 2014

Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Future today warned that a reduction in energy production hurts the state’s energy independence and would result in less tax revenues for Kern County to provide vital services.

This morning, out-of-town and out-of-state special interest groups held a press conference in the Valley making false accusations about proven, safe oil extraction techniques used in California for more than half of a century. California has the toughest and most transparent standards in the nation regulating oil production.

Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Future is a coalition of education, public safety, business, ethnic, community and taxpayer groups who oppose efforts to limit safe oil production.  Valley coalition members include: Kern County Firefighters Local 1301; Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood; Nisei Farmers League; Greater Bakersfield & Taft District Chambers of Commerce; Kern County Black & Hispanic Chambers of Commerce;  McKittrick Elementary School District; Taft City School District; Cities of Ridgecrest, Shafter, Taft; County of Kern and Kern County Taxpayers Association.

“We don’t need special interests stepping in to force policies that will hurt our way of life. The San Joaquin Valley is an energy production leader – which helps the state rely less on imported oil and benefits our communities by creating quality jobs.  These jobs generate much-needed revenues to fund our schools, libraries and public safety programs,” said Ron Bryant, Superintendent, Taft City School District.

“These activists claim to be helping the Valley – but the policies they’re promoting will hurt the Valley.  Kern County has a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the state. We believe in responsible regulation to ensure safety, but an outright energy ban would result in more job losses and less tax revenues.  As a result, demands for social services would grow while resources would shrink and more Valley residents would be forced into the unemployment line.  The Valley needs jobs, not special interests telling us what to do,” said Jon Johnston, Mayor, City of Shafter.

California’s oil industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and pays billions in tax revenue each year, according to a study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.  Key findings of the report include:

  • In 2012, the oil and gas industry in Kern County alone contributed to almost 48,000 total local jobs and paid more than $1.2 billion in state and local taxes.
  • With more than 468,000 direct and indirect jobs, the petroleum industry is responsible for 2.3% of total California employment.
  • Jobs created or supported by the petroleum industry generate $40 billion in labor income, which is 3.1% of California’s total labor income.
  • 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.
  • Statewide, the industry paid $21.6 billion in state and local tax revenues in 2012.

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Californians for Energy Independence is a coalition that supports state and local policies that allow for continued domestic energy production and opposes those policies – such as oil taxes and energy bans—that would hinder production and increase reliance on foreign oil.

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