SLO County has a vibrant and diverse economy with one of the largest segments being tourism which accounts for 13% of County jobs and generated $1.6 billion revenues in 2016. In addition tourism generates $62 million in local tax revenue. Agriculture generated $915 million in 2016. Other major sectors like manufacturing, high tech development and services, education, and healthcare contribute billions of dollars. In contrast, according to the oil industry’s Institute for Applied Economics, SLO County jobs in the oil extraction sector contributed about $13 million in wages in 2012 and State-wide such jobs have been declining in the intervening years. Even after the initiative is approved, the Price Canyon oil field will continue to operate and employ workers. As the cost of solar and other renewable energy sources continue to decline, especially in the energy production and transportation sectors, fossil fuels will be priced out of the market. The future is about clean energy and that future is happening right now.
In many ways San Luis Obispo County is like a third world country when it comes to our oil resources. Our local oil is pumped out, pre-refined by Phillips 66 in Nipomo, then sent by pipeline to another refinery in the East Bay and then exported to Asia, India, South America, or whoever pays the most. For example, in 2016 U.S. oil companies shipped an average of 10,000 barrels of oil a day to China. By October of 2017 that had increased to 131,000 barrels. The Phillips 66 Annual Reports clearly state that their crude oil product is primarily destined for foreign markets.