As I was surveying all the local progress to our economy while in one of Aspen Helicopters’ aircrafts on a recent Oxnard Chamber business visit, I couldn’t help feeling that this must be what it’s like to be a drone. At approximately 1,500 feet above the ground, we had an excellent aerial view of Oxnard’s impressive business growth and beautiful landscapes.
Drones, officially called an Unmanned Aircraft System or a “UAS”, came onto the scene a few years ago rather quickly. You can purchase a drone online or in a store for as low as $49.99 or spend thousands of dollars with sophisticated added capabilities ranging from cameras to high definition live video. What you may not know is that there are rules, regulations and legislation being implemented just as fast as the newest drone models hits the market.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Safety Briefing (May/June 2017), the following are guidelines that an owner of a UAS needs to adhere to even if you are flying your drone as a hobbyist:
Last year, the FAA released its Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) regulations with the new Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107. New owners of a drone should check the website at www.faa.gov/uas before launch. This will educate drone operators on whether they need a Remote Pilot certificate or not.
For the legislative cycle that ended September 15, 2017, there was one additional drone-related bill passed by the legislature. AB 527 (Caballero) will make modest revisions to existing law regarding licensure requirements for those who operate pest control aircraft. If Governor Brown signs AB 527 by October 15, any person operating an unmanned aircraft for pest control will need to be certified to do so by the California Department of Health. It will require additional training and expertise than is currently mandated.
If you are using a drone for pleasure or business-related activities, make sure you follow all UAS requirements to avoid fines and penalties that can add up to more than the cost of the new toy.
Many of you have heard me mention an “All-of-the-Above” energy portfolio as I speak about my company, California Resources Corporation, and the oil and natural gas industry. That means safely developing all our energy resources – from renewables to oil and natural gas – to support everything we do at home and at work. Just like you diversify your financial investments to maximize the return, a comprehensive energy strategy is needed to ensure that our huge demand for power is met with ample reliable, affordable and secure energy – an assortment of energy sources that includes fossil fuels, solar, wind and other means.
An example of how energy diversification works was demonstrated during the eclipse that occurred on August 21st. An article was recently published by Energy In Depth, a research, education and public outreach organization, which described how grids throughout the country remained functional. The following is an excerpt from that article:
Solar Eclipse Causes No Electrical Grid Issues, Thanks to Natural Gas
Originally Published by Energy in Depth
Solar companies and grid operators across the country spent ample time planning for last week’s solar eclipse, particularly in California and North Carolina, which dominate the country in solar output. Those efforts paid off, as consumers faced no issues, even as solar output was cut in half in California, dropping from 6,000 megawatts (MW) to 3,000 MW, and North Carolina lost 1,700 MW, due to the eclipse having totality in some locations. How did they keep the lights and air conditioning on for consumers?
As Neal Kirby, spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America tweeted, it was thanks to alternative energy sources like natural gas.
In California, natural gas and hydropower were used to offset the extreme drop in solar.
The U.S. grid’s performance is a testament to how far the solar industry has come in recent years, and to the grid operators’ ability to manage system reliability. But the real takeaway is that despite the oft-repeated activist line that the U.S. grid can run solely on renewables without traditional energy sources, an energy mix including fossil fuels is still needed on a daily basis.
Americans might not see a total eclipse every day – and won’t again until 2024 – but frequent fluctuations in power from the sun and wind are very real. The eclipse put the grid in the spotlight, but the challenges the country was monitoring are issues backup sources like natural gas help mitigate on a daily basis.
As Stephen Berberich, the president of California’s grid operator California ISO, told Fortune recently, natural gas will continue to be an important part of the state’s backup energy supply for renewables:
“The ‘electric grid of tomorrow’ will increasingly have to deal with fluctuating power supplies from the wind and sun while incorporating quick-start gas turbines during events like the upcoming eclipse.”
As natural gas and renewables increase the percentages of power they supply the grid, it is becoming even more apparent that these energy sources are complementary and will be an important and significant part of the future energy mix.
To read the full article, please click here: https://energyindepth.org/national/solar-eclipse-causes-no-electrical-grid-issues-thanks-natural-gas/
When your business has an issue that you cannot solve on your own, who do you call? Of course, it depends on the subject matter, but chances are, your Oxnard Chamber membership is a direct line for assistance and the appropriate resources. Many companies join or renew their membership and forget to utilize the chamber benefits. Some businesses use their membership to increase their sales of goods or services, or for networking, or to learn more about new business laws and regulations. Nevertheless, having a business advocate organization working on your behalf can prove that your Oxnard Chamber membership provides a significant return on your investment.
The Oxnard Chamber Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) meets the second Monday of every month at noon at the Oxnard Chamber office. Led by Oxnard Chamber board members Tom Cady and Stacy Miller, the committee meets on proposed legislation, local elections and measures, and other issues such as energy, transportation, land use and water. The BAC is open and transparent and often has legislative aides in attendance, as well as the City and County representatives.
Once an agenda item has been vetted and voted on through the BAC, it is then forwarded to the full Oxnard Chamber Board of Directors as an “Action Item” at the next scheduled board meeting. As chair of the board of directors I’m repeatedly impressed by those around the table who represent a myriad of industries in the Oxnard community and contribute to a thoughtful and methodical discussion on any particular item.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for Nancy Lindholm, President & CEO, and Oxnard Chamber board members to spend hours at a city council or county board of supervisors’ meeting on your behalf. Moreover, we’ve also taken several trips to Sacramento to express our positions on a variety of topics. There are residents and other organizations who have strong opinions on local issues, however advocating for a member in good standing and whose business benefits the community is a roll the Chamber is proud to take on.
It’s reassuring to know that the Oxnard Chamber is your business advocate. Now, who are you going to call?
Last month, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) released its most recent study that revealed the economic impact the oil and gas industry has on the state. The LAEDC conducted this analysis using 2015 data from the oil and gas industry as a whole. The bottom line is that the oil and gas industry makes a significant contribution to California’s economy.
Even more interesting are the characteristics of the workforce that the oil and gas industry employs which is in some aspect reflective of the demographics of our state. Some of the highlighted trends include:
The LAEDC’s study also brought to light the industry’s impact on regional economies throughout California, including valuable tax revenues by county. In Ventura County, the analysis calculated a total of $306.6 million in state and local taxes and a sum of $216.7 million in federal tax revenues. This is revenue that can be used by local government to provide critical services to residents of the county. Total jobs for our area in the oil and gas industry were nearly 6,000 which included direct, indirect, and induced employment. Examples of some of these jobs the industry provides include engineers, information technology specialists, electronics technicians, and geologists.
Allan Zaremberg, California Chamber of Commerce president and CEO stated, “California’s oil and gas industry has been an engine of California’s growth for more than 100 years. The industry sustains tens of thousands of well-paid middle class jobs, provides hundreds of millions of tax dollars for the support of state and local government, and provides the energy and much of the innovation that powers our economy.”
To read the entire study or download it, go to http://laedc.org/2017/06/08/oil-gas/.
A Message from our Chair
To quote the proverbial British rock band Queen, We are the champions! The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce and its member companies were recognized this month for supporting business and education. Already recognized for its strong leadership, board representation and associates, the Oxnard Chamber has now established itself as an award-winning advocate organization for steering youth towards workforce readiness.
On May 18th, the Chamber was presented with the Oxnard Union High School District’s (OUHSD) “Business Champion” award at a program presented by the OUHSD – Office of Career Education, OUHSD Academies and the Ventura County Civic Alliance for its “Direct Path to Success” program led by the chamber’s own Director of Workforce Development, Jim Rose. The program has served over 1,100 high school students by providing workshops, internships, and other business interfaces with the different academies.
Interestingly enough, many of the other organizations and individuals honored for being essential business partners during the same event had a direct link to the Oxnard Chamber. They included Oxnard Chamber board members Laura Mullen (DCH Auto Group), and Cynthia Herrera (Oxnard College); Dignity Health represented by Sharon Jones, Cal State Channel Islands represented by Manuel Correia, and Friends of the Channel Islands Harbor represented by Steve Kinney. In addition, my employer, California Resources Corporation was also included in the festivities by receiving the “2017 Business Champion Award” from the Oxnard Chamber’s Workforce Education Readiness Committee.
On May 31st, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce was one of 29 chambers in the state to receive the 2017 California Chamber of Commerce “President’s Circle Award”. This was not by luck of the draw, but rather for fulfilling numerous requirements that Cal Chamber established as mandatory criteria. And, this criteria must be met annually.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my fellow board member, Michael Wynn-Song. He was one of three awardees recognized for being a relentless “Small Business Advocate” by Cal Chamber President and CEO, Allan Zaramberg. Michael has spent countless hours at Oxnard City Council Meetings and other chamber functions stressing the value of business in the Oxnard Community.
And most recently, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce was the recipient of the “2017 Youth Opportunity Award” presented by the local Workforce Development Board. This honor was bestowed on the Chamber for providing career awareness opportunities and internships that are designed to grow and strengthen Ventura County’s future workforce.
As the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce celebrates its achievements this month, let it be a reminder that we are here to serve our business and education community. By the looks of all, the plaques and trophies collected this month reaffirms we are doing just that.