A New California 'Black Gold Rush' Could Create Nearly 3 Million Jobs

old oil library of congress

Photo: Library of Congress

Tapping California’s vast shale reserves could create nearly 3 million jobs, a report from USC and the Communications Institute argues.We’ve previously discussed the incredible potential of the Monterrey Shale, which stretches from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.

The play contains more than 15 billion barrels of oil, some two-thirds of the United States’ shale oil reserves.

Here’s how the study’s authors reckon a new “black gold rush” — the first one came in the 19th century — into the Monterrey could relaunch the state:

  • The state’s energy usage is expected to grow from 6.10 quadrillion Btu (quads) in 2008 to 9.93 quads in 2050, an increase of 63 per cent over the 42-year period, or an average annual increase of 1.2 per cent.
  • Oil booms lead to population booms. In just the one year ending July 1, 2012, North Dakota’s population grew by 2.17 per cent while the overall U.S. population grew by only 0.75 per cent.
  • California has well developed preexisting infrastructure, like ports, that could instantly take advantage of new drilling.
  • It’s happened in every shale boom state. For instance, Colorado’s oil and gas industry now contributes $31.9 billion to its economy in 2010 while adding 107,566 jobs, $6.6 billion in wages and $14.4 million in value to companies.

And here’s the full table of their projections:

california communications institute oil study

Photo: Communications Institute

Gov. Jerry Brown recently said he’d support developing the state’s fossil fuel resources. Here’s a part of a speech via a transcript provided by the Institute:   oil off the City of Long Beach has put hundreds of millions of dollars into building necessary facilities at our Cal State University. Very important. In the Kern Basin, lots of oil resource. So we want to get the greenhouse gas emissions down, but we also want to keep our economy going. And that’s that balance that’s required. And we’re not fighting the laws of nature.    The study’s authors call the above table, which they’ve deemed “the North Dakota path,” their “most conservative” forecast.   Not bad.

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