EconAlliance recognizes that our changing world creates enormous energy challenges. Growing populations continue to drive a relentlessly increasing demand for energy, which must be met while minimizing impacts on our fragile environment.
But with great challenges come great opportunities. EconAlliance firmly believes that Northern Santa Barbara County, with abundant conventional and renewable energy resources, is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the global energy transition.
Northern Santa Barbara County has a rich legacy of conventional energy production dating back to the early 1900s. The conventional energy industry continues play an important role in the region’s economy and community. Industry workers earn nearly double the private sector average, providing head-of-household jobs for hundreds of local families. Industry workers have diverse backgrounds and educational levels and provide significant community benefits through donations of time and money to service organizations. The energy industry is an integral part of the Northern Santa Barbara County social fabric.
Northern Santa Barbara County also leads the way in terms of utility-scale renewable energy projects, including both wind and solar projects. These renewable projects are essential to meeting our aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and will play an increasing role in the future energy mix.
It is implicit that conventional energy will continue to play an important role in the changing energy mix even as we transition to renewables and that there are opportunities to leverage the conventional energy industry’s capital investments, significant land holdings, and problem-solving spirit to facilitate the energy transition. EconAlliance seeks to foster such opportunities and partnerships.
EconAlliance Energy Initiative Team Co-Leads:
Ramon Elias, Vice President, Santa Maria Energy
Ben Oakley, Manager, California Coastal Region, WSPA