Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd shares her views.
The past 16 months have been challenging in so many ways, yet we have so much to be grateful for. Our essential employees stepped up in every industry — including oil and gas — to keep us going in our state’s greatest time of need. Our essential workers got us back on this journey toward recovery.
As we reflect on the pandemic, a few things are crystal clear: our collective need for energy is back and growing, and the oil and gas industry is indeed essential to the economic health of California and its people.
I was recently interviewed for a segment running in The Maddy Report, a weekly public affairs TV program covering State and Federal policies, politics, and their impact on California, especially the San Joaquin Valley.
I was asked about California’s controversial mandates and bans on oil production, and how we as an industry felt about those policies. I also answered questions about jobs, hydraulic fracturing, and the role our industry will play in the world’s energy transition.
These questions are on the minds of many as it relates to the energy future we want to see in California. One that places a priority on public health, safety and the environment, along with the health of our economy.
I shared what I firmly believe—that our industry will continue to play an important role in California’s energy future. We need more energy solutions, not less. And we must advocate for an all of the above” energy strategy that includes oil and natural gas. Eliminating oil and gas production in our state does not change the demand, it only makes Californians more dependent on foreign sources of oil. We support the use of renewables, but the amount of energy they produce is simply not enough to meet the demands of California. They absolutely should be part of that energy solution.
We spoke about the many myths around hydraulic fracturing. It is and has always been safe, and California has the most stringent environmental regulations in place to govern the process. Numerous studies have proven it does not contaminate air or drinking water.
We have hundreds of thousands of oil and gas industry workers throughout the state who have dedicated their careers to safely and responsibly producing the oil California depends on. Eliminating those jobs is not an option. Those men and women, and their families, need those jobs, and our state needs them to do those jobs. Eliminating these jobs would disproportionately impact many groups including women, and minority workers and hurt the communities that depend on our industry and its employees for jobs, tax revenue and community support.
I also believe the stakes are bigger than the question of whether oil production will occur here in California. It’s more about ensuring we have policymakers and public policy leaders making decisions that allow our communities to adapt to all changes in the economy with an opportunity to compete. We need policymakers who will protect our industry’s ability to contribute to today’s energy transition.
Our industry understands the needs of a changing world. We live it and work toward it every day. We know the energy mix is evolving. We embrace it and we’re investing in it. The people of California can rely on us to continue producing the oil and gas we need to fuel our state.
Please, take a few minutes to watch The Maddy Report segment airing on Aug. 8, and let us know what you think about the future of energy in California. Let’s start some conversations with our friends, family members and colleagues, and talk about a sustainable energy future that works for everyone.