California’s oil reserves are located in the Monterey Shale Formation, much of which lies beneath California’s Central Valley. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the formation holds more than 15 billion barrels of oil — about two-thirds of the nation’s shale oil reserves.
Hydraulic fracturing for oil, a practice that has been widely used and carefully regulated by states since the 1940s, has been increasingly used by the industry. Through advances in “fracking” technology, including the use of concrete barriers to ensure that the upward-moving oil remains contained within the well, California is well-positioned to safely and wisely access what is literally a new untapped resource.
California’s unemployment rate of 9.8 percent is tied with Rhode Island as the highest in the nation. In contrast, oil-producing North Dakota boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent.