A group of residents wants to ban production in California in the name of the environment. What is this ban trying to accomplish? Californians today need to drive, heat, and cool their homes, and use any of the 6,000 everyday products made from petroleum. Since everyone’s goal is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, is it more prudent to source this energy locally or import it via tankers from across the globe?
Is it possible Governor Newsom recognizes locally sourced energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions? He may further understand that Saudi Arabia sourced oil is not subject to California’s strict environmental laws or a carbon tax.
Does Governor Newsom want to deny thousands of good-paying jobs to a racially diverse energy workforce on no evidence of health ailments? California, and indeed Santa Barbara County, has the strictest oil and gas regulations in the United States. Santa Barbara County has a rigorous review of oil facilities near neighbors. Also, operators do not use fracking in Santa Barbara County.
Sudden energy transitions, such as the one recommended in the letter by Rachel Altman, will indeed affect all Californians and, most of all, low-income groups. Isn’t this pandemic enough? While worldwide greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 have decreased by 7 percent, we see a lack of energy use equates to economic destruction. Furthermore, California witnessed rolling blackouts as our renewable energy sources are not yet ready for prime time. They’ll get there in due course.
I believe a just transition occurs over time when we all work together. Our governor may have come to the same conclusion.
Chad Walker is environmental manager for Vaquero Energy.