In California, NREL Helps Kern County Embrace Clean Energy in Partnership With Community Colleges

For more than 100 years, Kern County, California, has relied on energy (oil and gas) and agricultural production to stimulate the economy. People in Kern County have a fierce sense of pride and a strong sense of identity as an energy producing community, and they are expanding that vision.

“Typically, people who were born and raised in Kern County choose to raise their families there and stay for the long term,” said James McCall, energy and environmental analyst for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “Bakersfield is a big city that has a small-town feel. A small town of more than 400,000 people, but that’s small for California. The joke there was it was two hours from everything: Los Angeles, the beach, and the national parks are all two hours away.”

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Kern Citizens for Energy