(KERO) — Climate change priorities spelled out in Governor Gavin Newsom's new budget plan has drawn criticism as it proposes $4.8 million to hire 26 oil regulators to try and tighten oversight.
For Kern County's oil industry local lawmakers and several oil industry leaders are now saying the proposal is counterproductive and economically harmful. The California Independent Petroleum Association held a virtual press conference this week where Assemblymember Vince Fong spoke of the importance of California's oil production.
"We all agree that we all need energy and oil independence in our state yet the governor's actions are doing the exact opposite. It's going to cause us to import more oil from foreign countries, shipping oil across thousands of miles of ocean, and we want California energy for, produced by Californians."
The effort to get Newsom to change his proposal is gaining bipartisan support as several Democratic lawmakers also took part in the conference and agreed with Fong.
Newsom's budget proposal is the latest skirmish in the struggle between California's desire to lead the nation's battle against climate change and the state oil industry's fight for survival.