Oil -- California's ticket to prosperity

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)

One analyst hopes California's governor will utilize the state's natural resources to bring the struggling state into economic prosperity.

Though he has been a longtime maverick of environmental regulations, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has lately signaled his support for oil companies and their push for more drilling. The state's struggling economy is one of the reasons why Brown is trying to loosen environmental laws. He sparked environmental changes when he implemented the nation's first energy-efficient standards in the 1970s, passed anti-smog laws, and halted offshore drilling.

Borelli, Tom (FreedomWorks)Now, Tom Borelli of FreedomWorks tells OneNewsNow environmentalists are concerned that the Democrat is showing more favor toward oil companies.

"The way out of our economic problems and the way to economic prosperity is to really develop our natural resources, especially the fossil fuel natural resources, which are coal, oil, and natural gas," he explains. "The problem, of course, is that the environmental activists in the state of California are very powerful, and they will probably try to block development of natural resources and the economic boom that would follow that."

Brown has signaled a desire to relax California's Environmental Quality Act, which requires local governments to adhere to global warming regulations. And since The Golden State has begun its landmark cap-and-trade program to reduce global warming, some environmentalists are troubled by the governor's actions.

But if the state could only get past the environmental movement, Borelli believes it would be on the brink of an economic boom.

For instance, California's Monterey Shale, which runs from Los Angeles to San Francisco, may hold more than 400 billion barrels of oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. CNN reports that is almost half of the conventional oil in Saudi Arabia. It could perhaps solve California's budget deficit.

"California has a tremendous opportunity to develop its natural resources. But just like the federal government, the environmental activists and government regulations are in the way," Borelli laments.

He points out that The Golden State may even hold more oil than North Dakota and Texas.

"States like North Dakota, which has been able to gain access to its own natural resources, have only about three … or four percent unemployment," the expert cites. "So natural resources can be a huge boom to the California economy, and it's something that the state really should be looking at."

CNN notes that since the oil sits beneath accordion-like geologic layers, extracting it will be tricky.

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