Since the early days of California oil production beginning around the turn of the 20th century, oil derricks, offshore platforms and jackpumps are a common scene most residents hardly notice. As you walk California’s beaches, drive through residential neighborhoods and look out on golf courses, you’ll often see jackpumps or traces of the black crude residue in the what’s described by beach promoters as pristine sand.
Pictured left is the Huntington Beach oil production that dotted the beach landscape between the early 1900s to the late 20th century. Many of the oil rigs have been tapped and capped, though there are still plenty around, both onshore and off. In the right photo is John Thomas who owns oil wells in the region. He says he has enough oil to continue pumping for years to come. His take on the price of oil is probably a little different from the average Californian. Most Californians sign away their rights to oil on their land when they purchase a home.
Unless you’re the frog slowly simmering in the pot, never knowing that you’re being cooked, your blood is most likely boiling if you’ve seen the gas prices shoot up by not pennies by dimes and dollars lately in California. The price of mid-grade gas is over $4 gallon and premium is ranging from around $4.05 to $4.35. Economists say if this trend continues, the prices could send the U.S. economy in another downward spiral. For those who commute or drive larger gas guzzler vehicles, the increase in gas prices is significant and will now take a bigger bite out of your expendable income. Prices will affect everything from vacations and daily commutes to the price of food on grocery shelves and at farmers markets.
Californians have oil, it’s in their blood as evidenced by our oil museums and oil interests, and yet they pay more for a gallon of gas than nearly any other place. If you’re looking for ways to save, Robert Zubrin is a scientist who backs a mandate to produce cars that run on flex fuel and he has the recipe for implementing that concept (energyvictory.net). There are many ideas on the horizon and ways to save, but until we figure them all out, it’s going to hurt!