Petroleum’s impact on daily life goes far beyond powering vehicles.

The natural resource is used to make synthetic rubbers and fabrics; laundry detergent, dishwashing soap and glass cleaners; capsules and aspirin; paint; cosmetics; crayons; and so much more, playing a big role in everyday life that can go unnoticed. Entering its 11th year, the Energy Summit continues to enlighten the public on topics they weren’t aware of in the fields of oil, gas and renewables on Nov. 8, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the DoubleTree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court.

The Energy Summit will also inform attendees on how they can profit from the latest resources, tools and information while reducing their environmental impact.

Keynote speaker Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss what Kern County can teach the world about energy.

“In many ways, we are the energy capital of the U.S.,” Kern Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Richard Chapman said.

Kern County produces over 367,000 barrels of oil per day (over 134 million barrels annually) and accounts for 78 percent of California’s active wells. Kern County produces 72 percent of California’s oil and 70 percent of California’s natural gas, but doesn’t always get the credit it deserves.

“Unfortunately, Kern County has a negative reputation throughout California and I think one thing that’s so great about (the Energy Summit) is having people come to the area who have either never been here and are able to see for themselves what we have to offer or people who already support us, like Scott Tinker,” said Tamara Baker, KEDC manager of research and marketing. “When we spoke with him on the phone, as soon as he heard Kern County, he was all, ‘Oh, I’m in.’”

According to Chapman, more people outside the state know about Kern County —its reputation more positive — but tend to believe the regulatory environment in California to be too onerous to bring projects to the state. But they will continue to “beat the drums” until larger cities like LA and San Francisco give Kern County its due.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, it takes an outsider’s voice to get people to recognize our area,” Baker said.

Tinker’s passion involves bringing academia, government, industry and nongovernmental organizations together to address major societal issues in energy, environment and economy. His work has been published in Forbes, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and scientific literature.

Additional speakers include Craig Murphy of the Kern County Planning Department, who will provide a planning and natural resources update; Vibhu Kaushik of Southern California Edison, who will discuss SCE’s recent energy storage projects; Helle Petersen of BlueTechValley Incubator & Valley Ventures Accelerator addressing energy innovation cluster; Neil Black of California Bioenergy; and a panel on the future of energy in Kern moderated by Todd Stevens of California Resources Corporation.

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