In Sunday's paper, several informative articles and opinion pieces concerning the economic contributions to California and the future of the oil industry in Kern County and California in general appeared. These articles could be overly optimistic on the longevity of oil and gas operations in the state.
California’s crusade against oil and gas operators has already begun in earnest when Gov. Gavin Newsom took a huge first step to shut down the oil industry in California by firing Ken Harris, the head of the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) in July. Gov. Newsom’s justification for the dismissal was the perception the DOGGR granted too many “frac” permits and conflicts of interest within the DOGGR. These permits approved by the DOGGR complied with all state, local and federal regulations and requirements. The California government is using the DOGGR to shape its futuristic vision of the New Green Utopian state of California because Sacramento does not have enough public and legislative support for its vision for the state. The next step to eliminate oil and gas production will be a 10 percent oil and gas severance tax on top of the taxes already being paid.
Citizens will be paying higher taxes to make up the shortfall from the declining revenue from oil and gas operations. How long will oil and gas operations be profitable in the state is the question, and it may be a shorter time frame than people realize.
Thomas Payne, Bakersfield