Oil Drilling


California DOGGR Rule Making Process Deadline Approaches

By Dan Aiello

Environmentalists in California worry the public is not fully aware of the potential harm Governor Edmund G. 'Jerry' Brown, Jr.'s proposed hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' oil extraction regulations could do to the state's regional water tables and fertile California farmland in the Central Valley counties of Kings, Kern, Maricopa as well as those in which the Monterey Shale Deposits are located some 11,000 feet below the surface.

New "Marine Reserve" Network Doesn't Protect the Ocean

By Dan Bacher

A new network of controversial "marine protected areas" went into effect on the North Coast from Point Arena to the Oregon border on December 19, completing the statewide network from the Oregon to the Mexican border created under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

The completion of the network was accompanied by a flurry of press releases from the Department of Fish and Game (now Department of Fish and Wildlife), Natural Resources Agency and corporate environmental NGOs and "puff pieces" by the mainstream media regurgitating the agency news releases.

California's Environmental Leadership: Making Progress Amid Economic Recovery

By Ann Notthoff

What California does makes a difference. When President Obama increased national mileage standards last year, he built on the pioneering work that Senator Fran Pavley started here in 2002. We dream big, we take big steps and when it comes to environmental and public health protection, nobody does it better. With his new budget proposal today, Governor Brown has a chance to build on our state's strong record of environmental and public health protection.

CEQA Reform Takes Shape for 2013

By Robert Cruickshank

One of the top issues facing the state legislature in 2013 will be reforming the California Environmental Quality Act. It's an idea whose time has come. CEQA is popular with environmentalists, but overall it has failed to achieve its goals of producing better development and protecting the state's environment. Since CEQA's passage in 1970, sprawl has exploded, carbon emissions have soared, species have been lost, and other environmental impacts have not been averted. Rather than promote environmentally friendly planning, CEQA's primary use is for NIMBYs who wish to prevent sustainable change. At times it does serve to stop projects that are truly bad for the environment, but those are rare cases, and too many good projects are delayed or made more expensive by the flawed process. California can do better.

Will California Department of Fish and Wildlife Live Up to Its Name?

By Dan Bacher

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) became the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on January 1, 2013, but many Californians are wondering whether the controversial agency that presided over precipitous declines of chinook salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt and other species will live up to its title and mission any better than it did under its previous name.

The new name was mandated by AB 2402, signed Sept. 25 by Governor Jerry Brown. The name change is one of numerous provisions passed into law during 2012 that affect the department, according to a news release from the CDFW.

California's New Fracking Regulations "First Step" to Proliferation of Permits

By Dan Aiello

Today Reuters reported that the draft regulations announced by the Brown administration set forth ostensibly to improve monitoring of the oil industry's hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," method of oil extraction from the state's depleted oil fields, are actually intended to increase the ability of the oil industry to use fracking in oil fields throughout California.

Brown Announces New Oil Industry Regulations Ahead of "Promised Land" Release

By Dan Aiello

The Brown administration Tuesday proposed new draft regulations that would require the oil industry to disclose where in California its oil extraction operations are using hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking," in advance of a new movie starring Matt Damon meant to bring public awareness to the environmental destruction caused by the practice.

Will Gas Prices Continue To Keep Californians Over A Barrel?

By Jamie Court

Californians finally saw $5 per gallon at their pumps last week. Unfortunately, it's not likely to be the last time.

The Los Angeles Times published my op-ed Friday, "Refueling California," where I detail how sudden price spikes will plague drivers here until we adopt some simple reforms recommended by a state taskforce more than a decade ago.

Why California's Gas Prices Have Skyrocketed

By David Dayen

Brad Plumer has a decent enough explanation of why gas prices have soared in California over the past week or so. But being a resident of Southern California, perhaps I can provide a bit more insight into how this has played out on the ground.

Professor James Hamilton explains that a series of refinery and pipeline shutdowns, and a fire at the Richmond Chevron refinery back in August, have conspired to create a perfect storm in California. A power outage shutdown at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance last Monday was kind of the last straw. As California is somewhat closed off from the rest of the country in terms of pipelines feeding into the state, this has a major impact. In addition, California mandates a particular blend of gasoline, which reduces smog and other pollution, but also is more specialized to produce. So the price of gas leapt 50 cents per gallon in the last week.

Gas Prices Spike Across California, Strengthen the Case for High Speed Rail

By Robert Cruickshank

After a brief respite at the end of the summer, gas prices in California are rising sharply, with shortages being reported in Southern California.

Gas prices in Southern California jumped 9 cents overnight Wednesday into Thursday, and experts say they'll continue to rise. Thursday saw the largest single-day increase in average price ever, DeHaan said….

The current situation has been exacerbated by a power outage at a refinery in Torrance on Monday that halted production. It follows a power outage and weeklong shutdown at a refinery in Wilmington in mid-September.