Powering California Project

The Monterey Shale and
California's Economic Future

Link to the study - Monterey Shale & California's Economic Future

In March 2013, a new study, The Monterey Shale and California's Economic Future, cosponsored with USC Global Energy Network and the Price School of Public Policy with The Communications Institute will be released. The study is second research study under the Institutes Powering California Project which was launched to provide policy makers and leaders in all sectors, the media, and the public with an objective analysis of the critical energy challenges facing California.

The Communications Institute has counducted other studies and educational programs on energy with other academic/research institutional partners including major universities throughout the nation plus several National Energy Laboratories.

- Energy and natural resouce development have been a vital part of California's economy since the mid 1800's with the first exploration and refining of oil. The Gold Rush was the most dramatic example of the impact of resource development of the time.  Eventually, the state became the largest producer of oil in the United States for a period. The discovery of Gold was the major economic driver of the 1800s.  About 125 years later the state became a leader in efforts to conserve energy and develop new forms including nuclear and renewables, and protection of the environment. California has always been a leader in both the development of new technology and also protection of its rich heritage of natural resources.  As with most policy decisions, there are costs for regulations with increased costs to business and consumers with how these resources are used or protected.

The 2013 Study - Powering California: The Monterey Shale & California’s Economic Future
is a new economic study produced by leading academic economists that examines the role that development of oil from California’s Monterey Shale Formation can play in the future economic well-being of the state of California.

Few issues could be more important to California’s residents, businesses, and governments. Once an economic powerhouse, California has faced serious economic challenges in recent years, with declining incomes, rising unemployment, deteriorating business conditions, and inadequate tax revenues. Yet within its borders, California possesses a largely untapped energy resource so large that it not only could satisfy the state’s energy needs for decades to come, but also could help to ignite an economic revival that, almost single-handedly, could return the state’s economy to vigor and health.

This study begins to explore this possibility by documenting the potential impact of development of the Monterey Shale on job creation, economic activity, personal incomes, and government tax revenues over the next 15 years. The study concludes that, while there are numerous economic, environmental, and regulatory issues yet to be considered, the potential economic contribution of Monterey Shale development is enormous indeed.

Powering California is not an advocacy project but rather one focused on providing objective analysis through which intelligent decisions can be made.

Powering California Study & Forum 2010 - In 2010 State legislators, current and former, came together with leaders in government and business plus others interested in sustainability at a special energy forum at USC on November 10th to openly discuss the realities of the energy challenges facing California.  They were joined by scholars from Stanford University, Sandia National Laboratory, USC, Caltech and other academic/research centers.  The study Powering California sponsored by The Communications Institute was presented and served as the basis for much of the discussion.


The study received statewide coverage. You can review the following by clicking on these links:

Powering California Forum - The first project forum was the November 10, 2011 on the campus of the University of Southern California for an invited group of leaders and media. For information call (818) 349-5555. Other forums will be held in other parts of California.

Powering California Sponsors

    Back to Sandia National Laboratory Homepage 
University of Southern California
   Price School of Policy, Planning, and Development
   USC Energy Institute