A job is much more than just regular income or the ability to pay bills and save for the future. It also provides self-worth, fulfillment, and opportunities for learning new skills, gaining experience, and advancing one’s career. For tens of thousands of our workers, that exact opportunity places their families in the middle class.

According to the United Ways of California, “Struggling to Move Up: The Real Cost Measure in California 2021,” 3.5 million families are unable to meet basic needs — a situation affecting Latino and Black households at much higher rates than other communities. Over half of your children (54%) live in struggling households. The highest disparities can be found in Latino and Black families. 

In 2022, “The U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development estimated that more than 172,000 Californians experienced homelessness this year.” California had the highest number of people experiencing homelessness and the most significant increase in homeless population than any other state.

So how will eliminating 55,000 good-paying California jobs and replacing them with foreign oil keep our families out of poverty and off the homeless roles? 

Rock Zierman, the CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, commented

“California Independent Petroleum Association engineers found that SB 1137 would threaten 15,500 existing wells and prevent planned, new, in-state production. Yet, in the five-day legislative rush job, there wasn’t a real discussion on gas price impacts, the loss of revenue for local communities, the financial impact to the 55,000 high-paid workers in the oil industry, or the additional oil tankers it would take, coming from overseas to meet current oil demand.

“Last-minute gut-and-amend bills in the final hours aren’t the way to make good policy. When politicians jam through legislation like SB 1137, the people of California have the right to respond.

“Californians’ last barrel of oil should come from California, not from foreign dictators or countries who do not reflect our values. Voters will get to decide this question in November 2024, which is the very definition of democracy.”

Without a doubt, every year, there will be more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles on the road, but California energy workers power more than just cars. They power the equipment of the more than 35 California military bases, the airplanes that transported more than 15 million passengers in 2022, and the equipment of the largest agricultural industry in the nation. Also, remember that you can’t drive your electric vehicle without petroleum. The body of the electric vehicle, battery casing, and tires are just a few EV petroleum-based products, as well as the asphalt needed to drive on. 

California’s last barrel of oil should come from our state, produced by California workers, not some foreign country.