Due to higher gas prices, Kern County may see a drastic shift in its way of life. In the short term, it is easy to see the negative effects it’s having on day-to-day life. In the long term, some economists believe that Kern County is in a position to capitalize and thrive on the rising price of fuel.
Residents are already cutting back on things like shopping and dining to combat gas prices. It is never good for a community to see local businesses losing money through no fault of their own. Restaurants and shopping centers have already seen a decrease in patrons, and business owners are noticing. But Kern County has seen this before in 2014 when fuel prices surged right before the Great Recession.
In 2014, the strength of the local oil industry helped Kern County regain its footing faster than other regions across the country. The oil fields helped offset supply needs and relief at the pump was found. This helped bring in more jobs, and local businesses benefited from the results. This time, however, California regulations have put a stop to this.
Kern County Fuel Prices Can Go Down
Top economists have two theories. Both of them have decent outlooks for Kern County moving forward. California State University of Bakersfield professor of economics, Mike Evans supports a theory to lobby California legislators. His option is to have Governor Newsom follow through with his policy of substituting imports for local goods. With Kern County’s local oil fields, they could use California’s oil to offset the demand and drive fuel prices down.
The problem is that environmental regulations have stopped most of the onshore drilling in favor of building more sustainable solutions. If county legislators can convince Governor Newsom to reopen these oil fields. At a minimum, keep them open until the infrastructure for sustainable energy is complete.
Are Gas Prices To Blame?
But Southern California economist Christopher Thornberg has championed a different theory. With new technologies and resources, people have more ways than ever to make fewer trips to the gas tank. He notes that carpooling apps have surged, as well as e-commerce and meal delivery services. This thinking believes that economy is not strongly linked to gas prices.
Other economists have chimed in, like Nyakundi Michieka, who points out that people in Kern County have fewer transportation alternatives than their big city counterparts. This could, however, lead to growth in construction and manufacturing. This could lead to support for local businesses and offset any issues the high fuel prices might have caused.
The debate is strong, and legislators are anxious to hear their findings. In the meantime, they advise that fuel surcharging prices will come back. Ride share companies like Uber have already implemented fuel surcharges, and airlines could be close behind. Interest rates rose yesterday for loans, and economists say to prepare for it to get worse before it gets better. If you’re planning a trip, it’s best to purchase those airline tickets now before the prices go up.
Save money and fuel on your next move and have your car transported rather than driven. Support local business and call Bakersfield Car Transport for a quote today!
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