Read the rebuttal from Protect Monterey County to the oil lobby report on Measure Z's economic impact, at the link below.
Sept. 14, 2016 3:00 pm
In June, Energy Independence, the lobbyist campaign group funded by Chevron, released a report, “Economic and County Budget Impacts of a Ballot Initiative that Would Ban Petroleum Production in Monterey County.”
Today, Protect Monterey County releases a stunning rebuke by economist Jannette M. Barth, Ph.D that finds that their report is inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable.
This review finds the economic benefits from oil and gas production are wildly exaggerated, while underestimating or completely ignoring the significant economic costs to the public associated with its operations.
Among the industry report’s inaccuracies:
● It misrepresents Measure Z as a ban on oil production in Monterey County, when the initiative, in fact, bans only new oil operations.
● It ignores research on the impact of oil and gas development on other counties around the country. This research shows that oil and gas production is not consistently positive for local economies and that in at least one state with extensive oil and gas development, more than 25 percent of local governments have seen their costs increase.
● It ignores the cost to local government from potential water, soil and crop contamination from wastewater injection into aquifers and other oil drilling activities.
● Other costs not factored into the economic analysis include repairs to infrastructure, impacts on tourism and increased demands for first responders, police and other emergency services.
● The report exaggerates the importance of the petroleum industry to the Monterey County economy. The U.S. Census County Business Patterns database shows less than 300 petroleum production jobs in Monterey County. In contrast, agriculture supports more than 76,000 jobs in Monterey County.
● The report does not address the likely negative impact of oil production on property values.
● Nor does it address the costs of increased climate change caused by the oil and gas industry on the local community.
This review of the industry report concludes that it is unreliable, biased, and misleading. In addition to numerous inaccuracies, the review includes a critique of the highly flawed methodology used to draw its conclusions. A comprehensive economic assessment of Measure Z using accurate and verifiable data, making accurate assumptions,and taking into account the many economic costs associated with current and future oil and gas operations would be likely to draw significantly different conclusions.