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Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner demands the State answer for its actions against the oil industry in Kern


December 21, 2019

On Dec. 10, Second District Supervisor Zack Scrivner asked Kern County CAO and Director of Planning and Natural Resources to address the recent moves by Governor Newsom against the Kern County Oil Industry.

Supervisor Scrivner characterized the Governor’s recent moves as an attack and said, “The constant attack on our oil industry continues to erode our fiscal stability and our way of life in Kern. The Governor is failing us and the Central Valley. The arrogance and hypocrisy of this Administration to deny Californians access to our own natural resources is appalling. Enough is enough.”

In his referral Supervisor Scrivner specifically asked the CAO and Planning Director to:

1. Invite the Oil industry to come before the Board of Supervisors and present the impacts on their ability to function in California and maintain a stable business in the face of increased regulation.

2. Organize a coalition in support of the oil industry to communicate to Sacramento and the Governor the importance of our oil and gas industry to our neighborhoods, families, and future.

3. Report back to the Board of Supervisors on the impacts of this threat to the fiscal stability of the County which may necessitate consideration for a declaration of economic crisis based on the findings.

The recent actions by the State of California are aimed at preventing oil permitting and ultimately phasing out fossil fuels. Our state economy would not be booming if it wasn’t for the oil industry. Our economy depends on business confidence and a stable and certain pathway for energy permitting.

The Governor’s recent actions send a strong signal that California is actively engaged in driving out one of the state’s largest employers – the oil industry. These actions send a message – don’t invest in Kern County. While Sacramento can imply that they are talking about all the places in the state that produce oil, the target is most definitely Kern County – we produce 80% of the oil and 46% of the gas that has helped California become the fifth largest economy in the world.

During the meeting, Supervisor Scrivner said, “The Governor’s actions are irresponsible and insulting considering the extensive work Kern has done to regulate our oil industry in a way that protects our air, water, and neighborhoods and at an increased cost to our local oil producers. Yet our industries continue to be told that they are avoiding regulations and need more oversight by the state. We must stand up for our industry partners in Kern.”

In Fiscal Year 2016-17 the County implemented a four-year deficit mitigation plan as a result of decreased property tax revenues from our oil and gas properties. This, in turn, resulted in severe austerity measures which had an impact on the quality of services we were able to provide our citizens. Clamping down on California’s oil and gas production not only has the potential to place Kern in yet another fiscal emergency, it simultaneously requires the State to become more reliant on petroleum that is produced overseas by nations that do not share our environmental safety standards.


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