Safe and productive oil and gas operations have been an important part of San Luis Obispo County’s economy for decades. Measure G includes drastic provisions that would lead to the shutdown of all operations in the County.
If Measure G, the oil and gas shutdown initiative, passes, over 230 mainly blue-collar workers and their families who are reliant on the oil and gas industry will be threatened with losing their jobs. The impact of this job loss would ripple throughout our county. In addition to the loss of jobs, San Luis Obispo County would also lose an industry that is responsible for $64 million in economic output. Considering the pending closure of Diablo Canyon – and the looming economic strain that it will put on our county – we cannot afford the loss of another major employer.
The annual taxes and fees paid by the oil and gas industry provide over $1 million to our County’s General Fund. Our public safety departments, public schools and county programs benefit from these resources. A shutdown would force the county to make even more cuts to these vital services – forcing cuts in firefighting services, taking police officers off of our streets, opportunity away from our students and assistance from those who need it most.
While our country is making the transition to a greater reliance on renewable energy, it is important that we maintain our energy independence in the interim. Shutting down local oil production in California does not result in less consumption -- rather it means replacing local oil and jobs with foreign oil to meet our energy needs. As long as we need oil and natural gas to drive our cars, heat our homes and make electricity, it's better to produce it responsibly here in California where we have the strictest global environmental regulations in the world.
California’s gas prices are already among the highest in the country. Without local production in San Luis Obispo and other counties to meet our energy needs, gas prices and energy costs could rise, placing the heaviest burden on disadvantaged communities and working-class families.