California not sure they want a shale oil boom

FILE: Undated: An oil pump in California (AP)
A vast, untapped oil reserve in California is emerging as perhaps one of the state’s best opportunities to improve its still struggling economy, but exploration and production efforts face resistance from the powerful environmental lobby and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration that appears not to be fully sold on the potential.

The roughly 1,700 square-mile Monterey Shale, from the state’s central coast to its San Joaquin Valley, holds roughly 60 percent of the country’s estimated shale oil reserves, potentially making California the country’s top oil producer and revving up its economy like a smaller shale-oil deposit did for North Dakota.

California’s economy has been showing signs of improvement after a downward slide for years – in part the result of myriad regulations, multi-billion dollar budget deficits, high unemployment and now Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s income-tax hike on the state’s highest earners that has some vowing to leave.

“The Monterey Shale could be a boon to the economy, but there’s heavy emphasis on the word ‘could,’ ” said Jason Marshall, chief deputy director for the state’s Department of Conservation.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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