California ranks 19th in the world in terms of economy. Last year, its gross domestic product was $3.357 trillion. Although the full estimate of the state’s GDP won’t be released until 2023, the state’s economic performance is already catching up to Germany. The film industry alone contributes $49 billion to the state’s economy. Oil drilling and agriculture also contribute about $42 billion to the state’s economy.
Agriculture is a $42.6 billion dollar industry
Agriculture in California is a huge and diverse industry that generates an incredible amount of income. Last year, agricultural exports in California accounted for $42.6 billion of the state’s gross state product (GSP). California’s top-valued agricultural commodities include almonds, strawberries, tomatoes, and walnuts. In 2015, California farms sold their output for $47.1 billion, making up about 12.5 percent of total agricultural production in the United States. Of that, about 43% was exported.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture, which compiles six million pieces of information about the U.S. farm sector on a state-by-state and county-by-county basis, shows that California is the number one state in agricultural sales. California was followed by Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota, which each accounted for about a third of the total. Agriculture in California represents a major part of the state’s economy, and more than eighty percent of farmland is family-owned or operated.
According to the USDA, California farms will account for around 12 percent of the U.S. economy in 2020. Californian farmers grow more than one-third of the vegetables and fruits consumed in the United States. And the state’s agriculture is worth over $50 billion a year, which is only rising as more people become aware of the importance of California agriculture.
The state’s agriculture is diverse. Its residents enjoy access to organic foods and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the state’s agricultural department helps farmers to protect the environment from invasive pests and works to prevent invasive species from the state. The department inspects all plant and animal materials entering the state.
Oil drilling is a $42.6 billion dollar industry
Since the mid 1800s, oil and gas drilling has impacted the lives of millions of Californians. More than 240,000 wells have been drilled in the state. The first producing well was located near where Dodger Stadium now stands in Southern California. Today, there are more than 5,000 orphaned, abandoned, or potentially abandoned wells scattered throughout the state.
While many other states are considering regulations that would prevent drilling near people’s homes, California leaders have refused. Currently, two million people in California live within half a mile of an oil and gas well. This is a major public health crisis that is being ignored by policymakers and the industry. In rural areas, oil and gas drilling is also a concern for residents. Communities from Los Angeles to the Central Valley are demanding a 2,500-foot buffer zone.
Offshore oil drilling off the California coast is a controversial industry. It has been linked to a series of disastrous oil spills, including the infamous Santa Barbara oil spill. In 1969, a rig spilled three million gallons of crude into the ocean. In October, a pipeline rupture caused oil to flow from a rig in federal waters to shore. State agencies are currently investigating the cause of the rupture.
Recent oil industry mergers have resulted in a shift in liability for environmental cleanup to smaller companies. This has led to increased risk of aging wells that could leak oil, brine, or climate-warming methane. Furthermore, some environmentalists and lawmakers worry that the oil industry’s recent deals may put public money at risk as taxpayer cleanup costs increase.