[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
70°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 26
1956 - Placerita Canyon State Park dedicated [story]
Oak of the Golden Dream


| Friday, Nov 1, 2019
A wellhead after all the fracking equipment has been taken off location. | Photo: Joshua Doubek/WMC 3.0.
A wellhead after all the fracking equipment has been taken off location. | Photo: Joshua Doubek/WMC 3.0.

 

The Trump administration unveiled a plan to open another million acres in California to oil and gas development and fracking, one day after being sued by conservationists for similar plans in a different part of the state.

The Bureau of Land Management released its environmental analysis Thursday concluding that hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas extraction in counties located in the south state do not conflict with the land management goals of the agency.

“No conflicts were found between the estimated impacts of hydraulic fracturing and the resource or program management goals,” the agency stated in the final environmental impact analysis.

The decision stems from a 2017 court order requiring the BLM to analyze whether hydraulic fracturing was in concert with the agency’s stated land management goals.

Environmental organizations were unhappy with the agency decision and telegraphed a likely lawsuit.

“Trump’s plan to hand over a million acres in California to the oil industry is a despicable attack on our state’s future,” said Clare Lakewood, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Sacrificing these public lands to dirty drilling and fracking will worsen the climate crisis and expose California’s people and wildlife to toxic pollution. We’ll do everything possible to stop this.”

The center filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to fight a similar decision to open up approximately 725,000 acres of land in Northern California for energy development.

Thursday’s decision pertains to different lands under BLM purview, including eastern Fresno, western Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties.

The BLM has not issued a new oil and gas lease in California since 2013, when a federal judge ruled the BLM had not adequately considered the environmental repercussions of hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking, as the process is commonly known, involves using high-pressure water directed at rock layers to release embedded oil and gas. The rock is typically fractured in the process, hence the name.

Critics of the process say the use of carcinogenic chemicals means groundwater contamination is possible. Indeed, there are several instances of well water contamination in areas where fracking is common.

The oil and gas industry says such contamination is the result of mistakes and bad practices rather than anything inherent to the technique itself.

Several critics also note the newly added acreage is in the San Joaquin Valley, where air quality ranks as a major problem that oil and gas development could compound.

“The Central Valley already suffers from some of the worst air and water quality, and now Trump is giving away our public spaces to the oil and gas industry,” said Gustavo Aguirre Jr., Kern projects coordinator with Central California Environmental Justice Network.

The BLM says oil and gas development will be a boon for the economy, providing jobs and much-needed revenue for the federal government.

“Oil and gas development on BLM-managed public lands within the Bakersfield field office planning area generate approximately 3,500 jobs and more than $200 million in economic benefit annually,” the agency said Thursday. “The BLM collects a 12.5% royalty on every barrel of oil and gas produced on federal minerals, which ranges between $65-90 million per year.”

But environmentalists say such economic activity is not worth the costs to the ecology, particularly as the presence of oil and gas could hamper the booming outdoor recreation by degrading lands near parks and wildlife refuges.

“This plan will degrade critical wildlife habitat, air quality, and parks and water resources that our communities depend on,” said Rebecca August, director of advocacy at Los Padres ForestWatch.

The BLM said the revenue generated from oil and gas leases will help fund the very parks and refuges that environmentalists clamor to protect.

“Public lands in California contribute to less than 10% of the total oil and gas activity in the state,” the agency said.

— By Matthew Renda

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, May 25, 2020
California OK’s Counties to Reopen Places of Worship, Retail Stores
The California Department of Public Health on Monday announced the statewide reopening of places of worship for religious services and in-store retail shopping.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,114 Cases in SCV, 94,558 Statewide
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday 1,047 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with 33 new cases and a total of 1,114 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Bella Vida, SCV Seniors Salute Memorial Day 2020
An endless stream of seniors drove reverently through the Bella Vida Senior Center Lunch Drive-Thru during Friday’s Memorial Day ceremony.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1956 - Placerita Canyon State Park dedicated [story]
Oak of the Golden Dream
The California Department of Public Health on Monday announced the statewide reopening of places of worship for religious services and in-store retail shopping.
California OK’s Counties to Reopen Places of Worship, Retail Stores
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday 1,047 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with 33 new cases and a total of 1,114 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,114 Cases in SCV, 94,558 Statewide
It was less than six months ago that cameras were rolling in the SCV, but it seems like much, much longer.
When the Cameras Can Start Rolling Again in SCV
At its next meeting Tuesday, May 26, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will take action on a motion asking the county to begin planning immediately to prepare for the transition of youth who would have been committed to the state youth prison system, to instead be in the county’s care.
L.A. County Preps for Closure of State Youth Prison System
My dad was a disabled World War II veteran in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Rarely did he discuss the war, which was common for many who served.
Dad’s Limp | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
An endless stream of seniors drove reverently through the Bella Vida Senior Center Lunch Drive-Thru during Friday’s Memorial Day ceremony.
Bella Vida, SCV Seniors Salute Memorial Day 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom laid a wreath at a veterans home Friday and issued a proclamation on Saturday declaring Monday, May 25, 2020, as “Memorial Day” in the State of California.
Newsom Lays Wreath at Veterans Home, Declares May 25 ‘Memorial Day’
The largest study so far on using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 was published Friday in the Lancet: It found that patients showed no benefit and, worse, were more likely to die or develop an irregular heartbeat.
Biggest Study to Date Says Virus Deaths Spiked With Use of Hydroxychloroquine
In the ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday launched California Connected, the state’s comprehensive contact tracing program and public awareness campaign.
Newsom Launches ‘California Connected’ COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation in the Santa Clarita area on Wednesday, May 27, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
May 27: LASD Bike, Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Push in SCV
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
Mustang Drive-In
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Sunday 940 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 1,081 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Sunday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,081 Cases in SCV, 92,710 Statewide
Richard Keysor, the 1989 Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, died at his home in Santa Clarita on May 20. He was 91.
Richard Keysor, 1989 SCV Man of Year, Dies at 91
Science progresses in incremental steps. How long did it take to realize Earth was not the center of the universe, or what goes up must come down? Science is slow, like watching molasses flow or grass grow.
The Magic Pill | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
1860 - Colonel Thomas F. Mitchell arrives in Soledad Canyon [story]
T.F. Mitchell
Lawrence Russell was already running when he received the ball with 4.8 seconds remaining in the first round of the 2018 NAIA national tournament.
Former Mustang Lawrence Russell Inks Deal to Play Professional Ball in Canada
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday 1,032 new cases of COVID-19 and 41 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 1,063 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Saturday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,063 SCV Cases, 90,631 Statewide
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) has announced the launch of Virtual Senior Day presented by Chipotle, a social initiative that recognizes high school seniors who missed out on their final season of lacrosse due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Lacrosse League, Chipotle to Honor Saugus LAX’s Graduating Athletes
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a video/teleconference business meeting Wednesday, May 27, at 1:30 p.m.
May 27: COC Board of Trustees Virtual Business Meeting
Hertz announced Friday it and certain of its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Hertz Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
Have you ever had a friend or loved one say, “Gee, I can’t wait to get older so I can go to a nursing home?”
Vacation Spots for Seniors | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
On Friday, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda, Councilmember Bob Kellar and City Manager Ken Striplin met virtually with Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger to address the requested variance for North County cities to reopen at a pace appropriate for their communities.
City Officials, Barger Discuss Variance for Reopening Santa Clarita
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Thursday a new collaborative online campaign, “Advance SEL in California,” to engage educators, school leaders, and families in a wider conversation about how to advance, elevate, and spur action on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in California.
California Education Department Launches Social, Emotional Learning Initiative
%d bloggers like this: