Oil discovery in California: Will Golden State go back to black gold economy?

Could an oil discovery in Kern County, California presage a return of the Golden State to national oil prominence?

In June 2009 Occidental Petroleum (OXY) announced it had tapped into an oil field that comprised upwards of 150 to 250 million barrels of black gold and natural gas. That discovery could be the first of many, believes Occidental CEO Ray R. Irani. "We believe this to be the largest new oil and gas discovery made in California in more than 35 years," said Irani.

Should a slew of similarly sized discoveries emerge, California could become a new oil patch for the U.S. That would be a boon to the economy of the cash-strapped state, but also provide powerful counter-incentives to the nascent green industry. California is among the national leaders in development of green technologies.