Bye bye frackbubble

Submitted: May 24, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In short, the Moneterey Shale Formation frackbubble was a pile of the well-known substance perpetrated by the same agency, the Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/, that now, under a new administrator, denies it. The EIA should be renamed PetroFlak, Inc. This one was right up there with the infinite rising of real estate prices, only it ended quicker. It was a bubble on speed.

The only logic in this story, if there is any, might lie in some petrocrats that started a bogus oil boomlet to fleece some gullible investors. We are still wondering about an anti-fracking organization led by MoveOn.org, basically a Democratic Party fundraising apparatus. Were they just trolling for more donors?

These questions may seem unpleasant to some readers, but the editorial board keeps noticing that critical political thinking in the former land of the free and home of the brave is being overwhelmed by “managed democracy” and an ideology of consensus, both of which require American citizens to check their brains at the door of whatever “public-participation” event they might attend – not as citizens with their own interests but as “stakeholders” rhetorically presumed in advance to be adherents of an agenda made elsewhere for special interests, then sold by real expensive flakpersons to the Gullible US.—blj

At a debate titled "Women and Colorado’s Future” aimed at wooing women voters understandably wary of their egregiously misogynist policies, three of four GOP candidatesfor governor offered no actual ideas about the issues facing women - unequal pay, domestic violence, health clinics closing, a hardline anti-abortion “personhood” bill pending - but did praise a panel of four women as "ornamental" before inviting them to interview the candidates as "Bachelor #1! Bachelor #2! Bachelor #3!" to the theme music from The Dating Game. Which will obviously bring the gals running. – CommonDreams.org, May 23, 2014.

5-20-14

Los Angeles Times

U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96%

Louis Sahagun

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-oil-20140521-storyl.htm

Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California's vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national "black gold mine" of petroleum.

Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

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FOR THE RECORD:

Monterey Shale: In the May 21 Section A, an article about federal energy authorities slashing by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil in California's Monterey Shale deposits described the rock formation as a 1,750-mile area. The Monterey Shale is a 1,750-square-mile area.
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The new estimate, expected to be released publicly next month, is a blow to the nation's oil future and to projections that an oil boom would bring as many as 2.8 million new jobs to California and boost tax revenue by $24.6 billion annually.

The Monterey Shale formation contains about two-thirds of the nation's shale oil reserves. It had been seen as an enormous bonanza, reducing the nation's need for foreign oil imports through the use of the latest in extraction techniques, including acid treatments, horizontal drilling and fracking.

The energy agency said the earlier estimate of recoverable oil, issued in 2011 by an independent firm under contract with the government, broadly assumed that deposits in the Monterey Shale formation were as easily recoverable as those found in shale formations elsewhere.

 

The estimate touched off a speculation boom among oil companies. The new findings seem certain to dampen that enthusiasm.

Kern County in particular has seen a flurry of oil activity since 2011, with most of the test wells drilled by independent exploratory companies. Major oil companies have expressed doubts for years about recovering much of the oil.

The problem lies with the geology of the Monterey Shale, a 1,750-mile formation running down the center of California roughly from Sacramento to the Los Angeles basin and including some coastal regions.

Unlike heavily fracked shale deposits in North Dakota and Texas, which are relatively even and layered like a cake, Monterey Shale has been folded and shattered by seismic activity, with the oil found at deeper strata.

The narrative of fracking in the Monterey Shale as necessary for energy independence just had a big hole blown in it.- Seth B. Shonkoff, executive director of the nonprofit Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy

Geologists have long known that the rich deposits existed but they were not thought recoverable until the price of oil rose and the industry developed acidization, which eats away rocks, and fracking, the process of injecting millions of gallons of water laced with sand and chemicals deep underground to crack shale formations.

The new analysis from the Energy Information Administration was based, in part, on a review of the output from wells where the new techniques were used.

"From the information we've been able to gather, we've not seen evidence that oil extraction in this area is very productive using techniques like fracking," said John Staub, a petroleum exploration and production analyst who led the energy agency's research.

"Our oil production estimates combined with a dearth of knowledge about geological differences among the oil fields led to erroneous predictions and estimates," Staub said.

Compared with oil production from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, "the Monterey formation is stagnant," Staub said. He added that the potential for recovering the oil could rise if new technology is developed.

A spokesman for the oil industry expressed optimism that new techniques will eventually open up the Monterey formation.

"We have a lot of confidence in the intelligence and skill of our engineers and geologists to find ways to adapt," said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Assn. "As the technologies change, the production rates could also change dramatically."

Rock Zierman, chief executive of the trade group California Independent Petroleum Assn., which represents many independent exploration companies, also sounded hopeful.

"The smart money is still investing in California oil and gas," Zierman said.

"The oil is there," Zierman said. "But this is a tough business."

Environmental organizations welcomed the news as a turning point in what had been a rush to frack for oil in the Monterey formation.

"The narrative of fracking in the Monterey Shale as necessary for energy independence just had a big hole blown in it," said Seth B. Shonkoff, executive director of the nonprofit Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy.

J. David Hughes, a geoscientist and spokesman for the nonprofit Post Carbon Institute, said the Monterey formation "was always mythical mother lode puffed up by the oil industry — it never existed."

Hughes wrote in a report last year that "California should consider its economic and energy future in the absence of an oil production boom from the Monterey Shale."

The 2011 estimate was done by the Virginia engineering firm Intek Inc.

Christopher Dean, senior associate at Intek, said Tuesday that the firm's work "was very broad, giving the federal government its first shot at an estimate of recoverable oil in the Monterey Shale. They got more data over time and refined the estimate."

For California, the analysis throws cold water on economic projections built upon Intek's projections.

In 2013, a USC analysis, funded in part by the Western States Petroleum Assn., predicted that the Monterey Shale formation could, by 2020, boost California's gross domestic product by 14%, add $24.6 billion per year in tax revenue and generate 2.8 million new jobs.

 

 

4-5-14

Desert Sun

Monterey Shale fracking advocates tout job creation

Extraction advocates address lawmakers, blame rules, taxes

Raju Chebium,

http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/06/monterey-shale-formation-advocates-jobs/7378861/

WASHINGTON – Drilling proponents told a House panel Friday the oil-rich Monterey Shale Formation would create jobs and produce riches for Central California if Democrats allow oil companies to extract the abundant resource.

 

At a hearing held by the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Republican lawmakers and advocates from California blamed what they called onerous rules and regulations and high taxes for the state’s inability to boost domestic production. Instead, they said, California relies on imported oil for half its energy needs.

 

No environmentalist was among the witnesses. San Rafael Rep. Jared Huffman, the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat, was the sole dissenting lawmaker at the hearing.

 

State GOP Sen. Jean Fuller — whose district includes Kern County, California’s top oil producer, and much of the San Joaquin Valley — blamed “special interests and some legislators in Sacramento” for impeding economic progress.

 

“If California’s pioneering spirit is allowed to flourish, without undue regulations and excessive extraction taxes, the upside to the entire region is unlimited,” she testified. “Not only will my district see an economic benefit, but so will the entire state.”

 

In 2011, the Energy Department estimated that the 1,750-square-mile Monterey Shale Formation — which includes a small part of Monterey County and a huge swath of the San Joaquin Valley — contains 15.4 billion barrels of oil, or about 64 percent of total U.S. oil reserves. But the oil is 6,000 feet to 15,000 feet underground and some big oil companies like Chevron Inc. have said extracting it isn’t economical.

 

Parts of the San Joaquin Valley that are outside the Monterey Shale Formation have long produced oil. California is the nation’s third-largest oil producer behind Texas and North Dakota.

 

“California could be doing more,” said Colorado GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn, the subcommittee’s chairman. “Like most oil and gas projects, development in the Monterey has been subject to bureaucratic delays, federal obstacles to production, protests and lawsuits.”

 

Advocates have pushed hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as a way to pump oil out of the Monterey Shale Formation.

 

But fracking is controversial. The technique involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure deep underground to unlock oil or natural gas from shale rock. Environmentalists say the chemicals contaminate drinking water. Fracking also has been linked to tremors — problematic in an earthquake-prone state.

 

Much of California’s Democratic establishment supports a fracking ban, though Gov. Jerry Brown is open to some fracking as long as it’s regulated.

 

5-21-14

San Jose Mercury

Fracking: New Monterey Shale oil estimate rocks California's expectations

By Josh Richman

http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_25810989/fracking-new-monterey-shale-oil-estimate-rocks-californias

 

The fierce debate over "fracking" in California grew louder Wednesday with a new report that drastically reduced the estimate of oil that existing technology could extract from the state's massive underground reserve.

 

The news, which cut the forecast by 96 percent, weakened hopes for an oil boom that would bring millions of jobs and billions of dollars in new tax revenue to the Golden State, home to about two-thirds of the country's shale oil reserves. But foes of hydraulic fracturing -- which uses pressurized liquid to break rock formations to mine gas or oil -- were over the moon. They argued that the new estimate by U.S. Energy Information Administration scientists makes fracking in California politically unfeasible considering the potential environmental and seismic damage.

 

 

"The myth of vast supplies of domestic oil resources and billions in potential revenue from drilling in California by the oil industry has been busted," said San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund manager who founded the nonprofit NextGen Climate to fight global warming.

 

The earlier estimates of the oil available in the Monterey Shale -- a 1,750-square-mile formation extending from Sacramento to Los Angeles -- had sparked a wave of California speculation not seen since the Gold Rush. Oil companies scurried to position themselves, and many politicians rushed to tally up the economic benefits -- causing a serious rift between environmentalists and Gov. Jerry Brown, who sees himself as a champion against climate change.

 

But now the federal agency that keeps track of the nation's energy reserves estimates that current fracking methods could extract only 600 million barrels of oil from the formation -- a far cry from the 13.7 billion barrels once thought to be recoverable. The new estimate was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

 

The oil industry, however, was hardly ready to hoist a white flag.

 

Tupper Hull, vice president of the Western States Petroleum Association, an oil industry trade group, said, "We've always been quite clear that there are challenges to producing oil out of the Monterey" Shale that set it apart from shale formations already tapped in North Dakota, Texas and elsewhere. "I have every confidence that the oil companies possess the experience and the ability to innovate. If anyone can figure it out, they can figure it out."

 

Severin Borenstein, who directs the University of California Energy Institute, said "this is definitely a huge setback to the expansion of oil production in California, but I would not at all say the game is over. ... It is way too early to say that this is the death of fracking in California. Technology only moves forward, and I am sure there is going to be millions of dollars spent trying to make it better specifically for California because there is so much potential."

 

A University of Southern California analysis -- funded partly by Hull's association, based partly on Energy Information Administration data and released in March 2013 -- had estimated the Monterey Shale could help California create up to 2.8 million new jobs and generate up to $24.6 billion per year in new tax revenue by 2020.

 

In May 2013, Brown said "the fossil fuel deposits in California are incredible, the potential is extraordinary." Environmental groups urged Brown to support a fracking moratorium, but the governor resisted. In September, he signed a law creating new fracking regulations, including a permitting process, notification of neighbors, public disclosure of chemicals used and groundwater- and air-quality monitoring.

 

 

The governor declined to comment Wednesday.

 

In a CNN interview Sunday, however, Brown noted that fracking has been around in California for more than 50 years and that the state still consumes a lot of oil. "So, we are not gonna shut down a third of our oil production and force more oil coming from North Dakota -- where they are fracking a lot more -- to come in by train or more boats and ships coming in from all over the world."

 

Both of Brown's main Republican challengers in the June 3 primary election support more fracking and oil production.

 

Neel Kashkari made it a cornerstone of his job-creation plan. "It's critically important to aggressively pursue new technologies and advancements that can safely unlock the full potential of the Monterey Shale," Kashkari spokeswoman Jessica Ng said Wednesday.

 

GOP rival Assemblyman Tim Donnelly agreed: "We've always known the technology would present a considerable challenge to tap the bounty and benefits of the Monterey Shale. What's at stake is a tremendous economic boom, and the biggest impediment ought to be the technology, not the government."

 

H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance, said "there's nothing built into either our economic or revenue forecasts related to fracking," so the new estimate "isn't a hit to our bottom line."

 

But Steyer says the bottom line is that climate change will hurt California.

 

"Our leaders in Sacramento can no longer afford to pin our hopes on the false promises of a fossil fuel windfall -- especially when our state is poised to lead the nation and the world toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy economy," he said. "California must have the courage and vision to address the root causes of the climate crisis."

 

Zack Malitz, campaign manager for CREDO, a San Francisco liberal activist group, said the new estimate means "there is now no longer any political gain to be had for the governor in supporting fracking and putting our state at risk from water contamination, earthquakes and climate change. He must enact a moratorium."

 

A push for a moratorium failed in the Legislature last year. State Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, is carrying a moratorium bill now, but the Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Monday to put SB1132 into the suspense file -- essentially putting it on indefinite hold.

 

Emotions still run high on the issue: With a unanimous vote of its supervisors Tuesday, Santa Cruz County became California's first county to ban fracking altogether.

 

The move was mostly symbolic -- there are no known oil leases in the county, nor has it been targeted by prospectors.

 

CNSNews.com

21 Top Scientists Praise Gov. Jerry Brown’s New Fracking Rules

December 30, 2013 - 5:41 PM

By Barbara Boland

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-boland/21-top-scientists-praise-gov-jerry-brown-s-new-fracking-rules

(CNSNews.com) – Twenty-one scientists sent a letter this month to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown praising the use of fracking in California by oil companies and the new regulations on the procedure put in place that, they believe, will allow for a safe way to develop the “extraordinary” potential of the state’s shale oil reserves, improve the economy, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

 

Jerry Brown is a long-time liberal Democrat and the California State Legislature, Senate and Assembly, is controlled by Democrats. In September, Brown signed the new fracking regulations into law.

 

“In our research, we have found nothing to suggest that shale development poses risks that are unknown or cannot be managed and mitigated with available technologies, best practices and smart regulation,” reads the Dec. 18 letter from the scientists. “The economic benefits that can be derived from the expanded development of shale oil and gas reserves in California are potentially significant, leading to more jobs, greater economic growth, lower energy bills, and cleaner air.”

 

The letter further states, “Although some have called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, we see no merit in that course of action, provided the right regulatory approach is followed. In our view, the regulations currently being drafted by the California Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) certainly meet that requirement.”

 

The letter is signed by leading geological, petroleum engineering, earth sciences and engineering scientists from some of the leading universities in the country, including Cornell, Penn State, UCal-Berkeley, Syracuse, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.  (See Letter-to-Governor-Brown-Dec-18(1).pdf)

 

California’s new regulations, considered some of the strictest in the country, were signed by Governor Brown on Sept. 20, 2013 and are set to go into full effect in 2015. The new rules require oil companies to acquire permits for drilling, test groundwater, and disclose the chemicals used in the “fracking” they pursue.

 

Some environmental groups in California sought to ban fracking altogether in the state while the Sierra Club wanted very stringent regulations on the process. In its national policy on fracking, the Sierra Club says "there are no 'clean' fossil fuels" and the "Sierra Club's goal is to wean ourselves from oil and natural gas as swiftly as possible and by no later than 2015. Climate science is clear that we must rapidly decrease fossil fuel use if we are to avert disasterous climate disruption."  (See NaturalGasFracking.pdf)

 

Although Gov. Brown has a strong track record as a liberal environmentalist and believer in man-made global warming,  he signed the regulatory legislation that Democrats had proposed.

 

California’s Monterey Shale formation is one of the largest unconventional shale reservoirs in the United States, containing an estimated 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, or 64% of the entire estimated tight oil in the lower 48 states, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

 

The Monterey shale region stretches north and south of Monterey, Calif., along the coast and along some California islands, as well as going as far inshore as the San Joaquin Basin and to Bakersfield.

 

The oil from the Monterey shale would generate an estimated $24.6 billion a year in tax revenue and by year 2020, an additional 2.8 million jobs for the state, according to analysis conducted by the University of Southern California.

 

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a technique where a mixture of water and sand (99.5%) and chemicals (0.5%) are injected into a wellbore at high pressure, creating small fractures in the rock from where fluids and natural gas, deep within the ground, can flow.

 

In their Dec. 18 letter to the governor, the scientists wrote: “According to the respected research firm IHS-CERA, shale development has increased average household income by roughly $1,200.  An analysis from Mercator Energy recently found that the energy cost-savings for low-income Americans last year was approximately $10 billion, or about three times the value of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP.)”

 

“There is an enormous volume of oil in place in the Monterey Shale and other low quality reservoirs in California,” said Stephen Holditch, one of the signers of the letter, and a petroleum engineering professor emeritus at Texas A & M University.

 

In an interview with CNSNews.com, he said, “As we have clearly learned in developing other shale reservoirs in the United States over the last 5-10 years, it will require horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and a lot of capital to produce oil from such reservoirs in the coming years.  Any ban on hydraulic fracturing is essentially a ban on producing oil from shale reservoirs.”

 

“We want to get the greenhouse gas emissions down, but we also want to keep our economy going. That's that balance that's required,” Governor Brown, known for his support of green energy, said at a Mar. 13 press conference as reported by Reuters. "The fossil fuel deposits in California are incredible, the potential is extraordinary.”

 

Currently, California is the fourth largest oil-and-gas-producing state in the United States, with the state receiving $5.8 billion in fuel excise, corporate and personal income taxes in 2009, according to data from Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA).  Over 100,000 Californians are employed in oil and gas production, according to California's Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water

 

3-24-14

The Barrel

Jerry Brown, a champion of oil and the Monterey Shale?

By John Kingston

blogs.platts.com/2013/03/24/brown-oil

California Governor Jerry Brown made a few remarks recently about the state’s oil and gas prospects that sounded so positive to one industry group that it featured them on its homepage.

Energy in Depth is a grassroots outreach organization sponsored by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and on its website it was practically ecstatic about some comments Brown made about the state’s oil and gas potential. The irony is that it came after a ceremony to announce federal support for two new California renewable energy projects.

The remarks come at a time when it seems an increasing number of people are speaking of the state’s Monterey Shale as being up there in reserves on par with the Bakken and the Eagle Ford.  A recent study led by the University of Southern California spoke of the job creation and tax revenue possibilities of the Monterey.

So what did Gov. Brown say that got a pro-oil and natural gas advocacy group so excited? (The full recording of it can be heard here.)

One Brown comment that might have gotten the group discouraged actually took place toward the end of his comments. “That doesn’t say anything about what are the rules of fracking,” Brown said of his observations. “If you thought you heard that, you weren’t listening.” So since the Monterey is not going to be fully exploited without fracking, that would obviously be a problem if the rules that the state comes up with hinder deployment of that technology to develop the Monterey.

He also said late in the press conference, in discussing new technologies, that “we keep our eyes open and we’re not jumping on any ideological bandwagon.” But he said that while talking about two specific energy-related issues: fracking and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. But with the LCFS, the state most definitely has jumped on an ideological bandwagon and is implementing a rule that critics have expressed serious concerns about its impact on gasoline supplies.

 

There were, however, far more pro-oil positions taken by Brown than negative ones in his comments. “The fossil fuel deposits in California are incredible,” he said. “The potential is extraordinary, but between now and their development lies a lot of questions that need to be answered.”

Brown said his state’s Division of Oil and Gas comprises “excellent people and I look for them to navigate the issues as we go forward.” Brown has already made his mark on that division, axing two of its top leaders in 2011 when it became obvious that their knee-jerk answer to just about every drilling permit request was “no.” So Brown already has foreshadowed something other than a total anti-oil bent.

Asked by a reporter if there was a conflict between his support for renewables and that for California’s oil resources, Brown got practical. “Do you know how much oil is imported to keep our cars going?” he said. “Around 98%.”

(It isn’t at all clear where he got that number from. Recent EIA estimates put California’s consumption at about 1.76 million b/d, while the most recent company-by-company import data showed California importing about 736,000 b/d of all types of petroleum products in December. California’s current crude output is about 525,000 b/d. So even if Brown was counting material from Alaska as imports that are no different than those from Venezuela, it’s still nowhere near 98%.)

The pro-oil statements just kept coming from Brown, however: “Oil off Long Beach puts hundreds of millions of dollars into building the necessary facilities at Cal State university. We want to get greenhouse gas emissions down but we want to keep our economy going. There still will be a lot of people driving around for a long time.”

It could be that California’s oil industry has a bigger friend in Sacramento than it ever expected.

 

 

 

5-20-14

Daily Kos

Fracking moratorium bill put in suspense file

byDan Bacher

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/20/1300708/-Fracking-moratorium-bill-put-in-suspense-file#

Senate Bill 1132, Senator Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno's legislation to require a moratorium on fracking in California while studies are conducted, was put into the suspense file on Monday, May 19, following the morning hearing in the appropriations committee.

 

You can bet that the placing of the bill into the suspense file by the legislative leadership was made under heavy pressure by the Western States Petroleum Association, the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento.

 

According to Stop Fracking California State, "The Appropriations Committee has the power to put bills into the Suspense File. This happens for any bill with an annual cost of more than $150,000 (any fund)."

 

Suspense File bills are then considered at one hearing after the state budget has been prepared and the committee has a better sense of available revenue. No testimony is presented – author or witness – at the Suspense File hearing, according to the Legislature's website.

 

The committee will announce Friday if SB 1132 moves through Appropriations for a vote by the entire Senate. That vote would occur within a few days.

 

Daily Kos is hosting a CA Fracking Marathon blogathon this week to urge people to phone members of the committee to ensure SB 1132 comes up for a vote. Daily Kos is part of a coalition that includes Earth Works, the Sierra Club, 350.org, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.

 

SB 1132 would require the California Natural Resources Agency to facilitate an “independent scientific study” on well stimulation treatments (fracking and acidizing) and their hazards and risks to natural resources and public, occupational, and environmental health and safety by January 1, 2015.

 

The legislation would also:

 

• require the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to adopt rules and regulations for well stimulation treatments by January 1, 2015, in consultation with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), CalRecycle, and any local air and regional water quality control boards;

 

• require DOGGR to complete a statewide environmental impact report (EIR) by July 1, 2015 ;

 

• allow operators to continue well stimulation practices while DOGGR completes its regulations, providing that the well owner complies with interim requirements.

 

If fracking is not banned, groundwater and surface supplies will be polluted with numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene, naphthalene and trimethylbenzene. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, evidence is mounting throughout the country that these chemicals are making their way into aquifers and drinking water.

 

Human health, endangered Central Valley salmon, steelhead and other fish populations and many wildlife species will be imperiled by increasing water pollution in California, as well as by the increasing use of water for fracking that is badly needed for people, farms and fish during the current drought.

 

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta would provide water for fracking and steam injection operations used to extract oil in Kern County, as well as for corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California water agencies.

 

Big Oil spends more than any other corporate lobby

 

It is crucial to understand that the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) spends more money every year on lobbying in Sacramento than any other corporate group. This massive spending enables the oil industry to effectively buy the votes of many State Assembly Members and Senators.

 

The organization spent a total of $5,331,493 in 2009, $4,013,813 in 2010, $4,273,664 in 2011, $5,698,917 in 2012 and $4,670,010 in 2013 on lobbying at the State Capitol - and spent $1,456,785 in just the first 3 months of 2014. (http://www.truth-out.org/...) You can bet that a good chunk of this money spent so far this year was spent on stopping Senate Bill 1132.

 

A ground breaking report released on April 1, 2014 by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause also reveals that Big Oil's combined spending on lobbying and political campaigns in Sacramento amounts to a stunning $266.9 million over the past 15 years. (http://www.counterpunch.org/...)

 

But the oil industry exerts its influence not just through spending enormous sums on lobbying and contributions to political campaigns, but by serving on state and federal government panels.

 

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, as well as sitting on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

 

It is no surprise that the alleged "Yosemites of the Sea" created under Reheis-Boyd's "leadership" fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and tribal gathering. It is also no surprise that the oil industry was fracking like crazy in Southern California ocean waters at the same time that Reheis-Boyd and MLPA Initiative advocates were greenwashing one of the most corrupt environmental processes in California history.

 

In spite of false claims by the mainstream media and state officials that California is a "green state," in reality California under Jerry Brown and the current state leadership is an "Oilogarchy" of the worst kind.

 

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Calls on Governor Brown to Ban Fracking

 

In another development in the campaign to ban fracking in California, the California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) assembly on Sunday, May 18 voted unanimously to pass a resolution calling on Governor Brown and the state legislature to ban fracking.

In addition, the resolution affirmed LULAC’s support for local ordinances and initiatives now underway in several cities and counties throughout California to ban fracking.

 

"Because the health and environment of California's Latino communities, who already disproportionately suffer from pollution, is threatened by fracking, the California League of United Latin American Citizens calls on Governor Brown to ban fracking now," said California State LULAC Director Dave Rodriguez.

 

Fracking, an extreme form of energy extraction using millions of gallons of water and known toxic chemicals, has been linked to increased air pollution and a possible association with human birth defects. Some communities, like Carson, have been plagued by problems related to fossil fuel industry abuse.

 

"Our communities have suffered long enough from the impacts of oil extraction and we must stop the oil industry's latest assault to expand fracking and other forms of high intensity extraction,” said Carson councilmember Albert Robles. “We welcome the support of the League to protect the health and well-being of our communities." Robles introduced a fracking moratorium this year after Occidental Petroleum proposed to drill 200 wells near residential homes in Carson.

 

While Governor Brown continues to allow oil companies to frack and use other intensive well-stimulation techniques, many cities and counties are advancing local fracking bans or moratoria including Butte County, Monterey County, Santa Barbara County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County and the cities of Los Angeles and Culver City.

 

“We are really excited that LULAC has recognized that the fight is not just at the state level, but is now at the local level with the people in cities and counties really taking a stand, and using the initiative process,” said Margaret Morales Rebecchi from San Benito Rising. “Governor Brown has thwarted action at the state level. It is so fortunate that LULAC recognizes and endorses the efforts by the people to have the final say.”

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