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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 5:54 am | Fair 46º


Letter to the Editor: California Turns Blind Eye to Oil Industry Behavior

Plop, plop, plop.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, the manure pile of oil/gas company corrupt behavior - benevolently observed by Jerry Brown's government - grows.

California's SB4, a law passed in 2014, requires the state's 433 oil producers to report to the Dep't. of Conservation "information about the source, volume and disposal of water used in oil and gas production.

" ...only half [of the companies] filed completed reports in time. Another quarter ... complied but turned in incomplete reports.

30 companies, "which the state said made no apparent attempt to file reports, were given the maximum civil fine of $4,500.

"The law, written by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hill) requires operators to submit quarterly reports ... The first deadline was April 30, but the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources notified the Legislature that because of the complexities of the reporting, it was giving operators ... until June 1.

"DOGGR, too, missed the deadline. The agency said the law ... had vastly increased the data the state is required to collect ...

"The first set of data was released in mid-August.

Sen. Pavley: "'The department's failure to comply with the law is another example of poor management and lax regulation of the oil and gas industry that has implications for California's economy and the public health.

"'The public - during a serious drought - needs to know where this water comes from and where it's going.' 

"California's' oil fields produce far more water than oil, Last year the state produced more than 205 million barrels of oil with 3.3 billion barrels of water ..." (Los Angeles Times, Sept. 4, 2015)

So half of California's oil/gas conglomerates flip the finger at state government; 30 of them take $4,500 from the sugar bowl, give a middle finger salute to the law, laugh and keep on truckin'. Governor Brown's minstrel-show regulatory agencies put down a mat for the oil guys and crawl under it.

The Goddard Space Flight Center, a division of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, has told us the the western United States is undergoing a drought that will last 30-40 years, during which agriculture will become "almost impossible."

"There is no precedent in contemporary weather records for the kinds of droughts the country's West will face, if greenhouse gas emissions stay on course ..."

(CNN.com, Mar. 14, 2015)

Environmental activist Bill McKibben called California's obsequious permission of fracking's use of water "an obscenity."

Daily, oil/gas conglomerates foul many millions of gallons of water, inject the toxic result into disposal wells illegally drilled through clean water; dump it into unlined pits; spray it on hillsides, mix it into water used for irrigation of crops.

Environmental champions like Sen. Pavley, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblyman Das Williams cry out. 

The state's Governor sneers.

William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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