I started in this industry 41 years ago as a Senior Gas Plant Operator and I can truly say that the ExxonMobil Santa Ynez Unit facility has a world-class, safe operation in environmental management that is the top priority for everyone at our facility. ExxonMobil’s Santa Ynez Unit has won 14 national safety awards and is an essential part of the Santa Barbara County community.
California’s oil and gas industry provides thousands of high-paying jobs for workers of all education levels. According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the average pay for oil and gas industry employees is $84,451, while the average salary for a typical green-energy job like solar panel installation is roughly half that. Higher wages translate into revenue for local businesses. My colleagues and I buy homes, goods, and services, and food for our families just like everyone else.
The writer of “Unmoved” sounds rather callous telling displaced workers to simply find new jobs. His personal attack on how we “look” seems belittling. We are professionals. Our clothing is designed for the work we perform with safety in mind. We process oil that gets people to work, that delivers food to stores, and that makes the materials that create today’s technological necessities, such as iPhones.
Restarting the Santa Ynez Unit would bring back high-skill, high-paying, family-supporting jobs to hundreds of workers in our community. We encourage the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to bring these families back home by approving ExxonMobil’s temporary trucking permit.