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.”