Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed on Monday morning his new 2022-23 budget and contains a nice plum for Bakersfield which is worth a third of a billion dollars. The purpose of this windfall is to address climate change and the considered vulnerable Kern County economy. The Kern County oil industry has, in fact, faced unprecedented challenges over the past two-plus years as the state capital has worked toward far-reaching climate change goals.
Gov. Gavin Newsome and the Proposed 2022-23 State Budget
The number and seriousness of most currently imposed restrictions on petroleum extraction by the state have made it clear where this is all headed. That, of course, does prompt the question: “Where does that leave the Kern County economy? It does, in fact, rely heavily on the oil industry? The important part of that answer was Monday when Newsom – in unfolding his proposed 2022-23 state budget – did state his intention to give $83 million to CSU Bakersfield. Thus it would be to research new directions in energy development as the state goes on to reduce its use of fossil fuels.
For the CSU [system] $537 million will go to it. That is with the support of the legislature,” Newsom said. “From the $304 million is ongoing. Then the new dollars would be coming as part of the budget. There will also be on-time money. It would include a Bakersfield innovation center. In Bakersfield, Kern County, which is at the center of this transition to low carbon, green growth. The CSU campus will be remarkable. It is an $83 million investment there.”
The innovation center is going to help chart the energy future of the state and the nation, said CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny.
Epicenter of Energy
“In fact, we are here in the epicenter of energy for the state, for the nation,” she said. “Also, this is the right place for that work to happen. Moreover, what has been proposed is actually a building. It will be at the center of research and development for energy innovation. I really do appreciate his trust in moving this forward. Therefore, he has also given us money for the additional faculty that will come to be part of this research center.”