south belridge1 (copy)

This is a view of oil production in Kern County's South Belridge Oil Field, one of the most productive in California.

The battle between Kern's oil industry and environmental groups from across the state will culminate Monday with a public hearing hosted by the county Board of Supervisors on whether to reestablish an over-the-counter system of drilling permits.

County staff has recommended the board readopt a permitting ordinance that, between December 2015 and its court-ordered revocation last March, imposed substantial new costs on local oil production in exchange for greater regulatory certainty.