header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
56°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 8
1875 - John F. Powell, an Irish immigrant, becomes Justice of the Peace [story]
John F. Powell


| Wednesday, May 27, 2020
grassland
The Carrizo Plain National Monument. | Photo: Antandrus / Wikipedia.

 

The Trump administration announced plans to allow oil and gas development on a national monument that is home to grassland, endangered species and unspoiled wilderness stashed in between the most populous parts of the state.

The Bureau of Land Management approved a new oil well and pipeline in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, located in the southeastern part of San Luis Obispo County about four hours north of Los Angeles.

“The selected alternative is consistent with the intent of [Mineral Leasing Act] to promote the mining of oil and gas on the public domain,” the BLM said in its approval of the oil and gas lease released last Friday.

Environmental organizations decried the news, saying the oil well is unproductive, inefficient and will degrade one of the few remaining wild places in the San Joaquin Valley, which is dominated by the agricultural industry.

“While many of us are worried about basic needs during a time of crisis, the Trump administration is busy catering to the oil industry at the expense of people and the planet,” said ForestWatch Executive Director Jeff Kuyper. “The Carrizo Plain National Monument is one of our region’s most precious wild places and deserves better than this.”

The monument, which was established in 2001 through a designation by President Bill Clinton, encompasses the largest remaining grassland in California — often called the Serengeti of California. The area is known for its profusion of wildflowers that bloom abundantly in the grassland in the spring, as well as playing host to some of the area’s most critically endangered animals.

The San Joaquin kit fox and San Joaquin squirrels are both endangered and have created habitat within the monument. There is also an endangered wildflower called the Kern mallow that makes its home within the monument’s borders.

Should a company take up the lease and activate the well on the property, it would be the first time oil would be extracted from the site since 2001.

“The Trump administration’s irrational decision to approve oil drilling in this spectacular place ignores climate change, imperils rare wildlife, and contradicts the monument’s conservation purpose,” said Lisa Belenky, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The proposed location for the oil pad is at the base of the Caliente Range of mountains and would only be allowed to be developed because it preceded the monument’s designation and it was expressly agreed that it was subject to a grandfather clause.

But oil companies that carried the lease haven’t pulled a drop of oil out of the site since the 1950s. After the designation, the oil company that operated the lease agreed to a remediation plan with the BLM in 2016 but that has since been abandoned under the Trump administration’s policy of encouraging oil and gas development on public lands.

The project had already been resurrected in 2018 but the BLM took the site back offline after a coalition of environmental organizations filed a series of objections.

The BLM said the oil and gas lease would not have an undue impact on the flora and fauna of the national monument, given that the proposal is advocating the drilling of a single oil well and a pipeline in a tiny corner of the sprawling public space.

“I find this action to be in conformance with applicable land use plans, that it effectively serves the public, and that it will not cause unnecessary or undue degradation,” said Gabriel Garcia, the BLM Bakersfield Field Office Manager.

Garcia also said concerns over endangered species are not warranted.

“The proposed action will have no effect on designated critical habitat for federally listed species as none occurs within the project area,” he said.

But wildlife advocates are suspicious that the BLM was ordered to produce that finding after withdrawing their approval documents dating back to 2018. The BLM does acknowledge the possibility that the mallow, squirrels and fox have the potential to inhabit the contested area.

Environmental groups continue to advance the perspective that oil and gas development is not appropriate for public lands, particularly as fossil fuels are responsible for the increase of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, which produces surface temperature spikes associated with climate change.

“Instead of expanding oil and gas drilling, we need to keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground and turn to renewable energy sources,” Belenky said.

— By Matthew Renda, CNS

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.

1 Comment

  1. I expect too much from news! says:

    What a great big piece of crap is this! It is only one sided from the activist and has no valid look at both sides of the issue!

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, May 7, 2021
Wilk Introduces Resolution Urging Congress to Amend the Social Security Average Wage Index
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 5, urging the federal government to immediately pass a correction to the Social Security formula to protect benefits for millions of Americans who turned 60 during the pandemic.
Friday, May 7, 2021
City Council to Consider Federal Funds in Support of Future Local Affordable Housing
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider allocating a little over $3.5 million in federal funding intended to support low- and moderate-income residents with decent and affordable housing and economic opportunities.
Friday, May 7, 2021
RNRN Calls on Nurse Volunteers to Administer Covid-19 Vaccine Doses
Nurses Week is underway and the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) is calling on registered nurse volunteers to assist with Covid-19 vaccinations at the Kedren Community Health Center in partnership with International Medical Corps.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1875 - John F. Powell, an Irish immigrant, becomes Justice of the Peace [story]
John F. Powell
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 5, urging the federal government to immediately pass a correction to the Social Security formula to protect benefits for millions of Americans who turned 60 during the pandemic.
Wilk Introduces Resolution Urging Congress to Amend the Social Security Average Wage Index
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider allocating a little over $3.5 million in federal funding intended to support low- and moderate-income residents with decent and affordable housing and economic opportunities.
City Council to Consider Federal Funds in Support of Future Local Affordable Housing
The owners of Maria’s Italian Deli in Newhall, past and present, celebrated the restaurant’s reopening Wednesday, following last year’s announcement it would be closing its doors after 47 years.
Maria’s Italian Deli Celebrates Reopening Under New Owners
After publicly expressing their support for hosting live graduations earlier this year, William S. Hart Union High School District officials outlined their proposed plans for the Class of 2021 ceremonies during their Wednesday night governing board meeting.
Hart District Outlines Plans for Live Graduations
After plans fell through for a $100 million mall expansion that would have brought a second Costco to the Santa Clarita Valley, representatives from the big box retailer reached out to city officials to see if they could still make a second location a reality.
Costco Still Seeks Second Location in SCV
Nurses Week is underway and the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) is calling on registered nurse volunteers to assist with Covid-19 vaccinations at the Kedren Community Health Center in partnership with International Medical Corps.
RNRN Calls on Nurse Volunteers to Administer Covid-19 Vaccine Doses
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced it will begin a phased reopening of jail visitations at the Century Regional Detention Facility starting on Mother’s Day weekend, with all other locations predicted to reopen in June.
May 8: LASD Announce Jail Visitations to Resume at Century Regional Detention Facility
Calling all high school and college seniors – the city of Santa Clarita Arts and Events Division is seeking 2021 graduates to exhibit their 2021 graduation caps in a virtual gallery.
June 1: Deadline Set to Enter City’s Virtual Graduation Cap Photo Exhibition
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 16 new deaths and 421 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,766 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Daily Hospitalizations Hit New Low in LA County; 27,766 Total SCV Cases
The L.A. County Financial Navigators program, operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Center for Financial Empowerment in partnership with Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, announced it is currently providing L.A. residents with free assistance to help them deal with the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial Navigators Program Set to Help County Residents Facing COVID-19 Hardships
The city of Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable voiced strong support for the removal of the race-based “Indians” mascot at Hart High School in an open letter to the William S. Hart District School Board in alignment with the recently released statement of the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.
SCV Human Relations Roundtable Releases Statement Supporting the Replacement of HHS Mascot
1861 - Andres Pico and partners granted state franchise to build toll road and cut 50-foot-deep cleft through (Newhall) Pass; they failed; Beale later succeeded [story]
Andres Pico
The Water Resources and Watershed Committee is scheduled to meet via teleconference on Wednesday, May 12, at 5:30 p.m.
May 12: Water Resources and Watershed Committee Teleconference Meeting
The California Interscholastic Federation has renewed a multi-year agreement with GoFan as the official digital ticketing partner to provide touchless, digital ticketing solutions to high schools and state-wide post season play across California.
CIF, GoFan Reach Multi-Year Agreement that Includes Post-Season Play
The County of Los Angeles announced Thursday that it has distributed 23 million units of free PPE through its joint effort with PPE Unite to protect 433,000 employees at small businesses across the County.
L.A. County Announces Distribution of 23 Million Units of PPE
The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has launched its annual CalFresh Awareness Month campaign to publicize the CalFresh Nutrition Program and acknowledge community partners throughout the month of May for helping to raise public awareness year-round.
Annual CalFresh Awareness Month Underway
The Santa Clarita City Council convened Tuesday evening to hear an overview of the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Striplin Presents Balanced Budget Which Includes $300K Surplus
This summer Mission Opera is happy to present a live outdoor operetta in one-act on June 5, 6, 12, and 13, in Santa Clarita.
Mission Opera to Present Live Outdoor Operetta, “Le 66”
The William S. Hart Union High School District is looking for one new member to serve on the Measure SA Citizens’ Oversight Committee.
Hart District Seeking Oversight Committee Member
The College of the Canyons Theatre Department will present “The Addams Family Quarantined Concert Version,” a live virtual musical production based on the eponymous beloved television series on May 7-9.
May 7-9: COC Theatre Presents, “The Addams Family Quarantined Concert Version”
Santa Clarita Valley public junior high and high school students will remain in the blended learning model — two days a week of in-person instruction — for the remainder of the year, William S. Hart Union High School District officials announced Wednesday night.
Hart District Announces Blended Learning Format to Continue for Remainder of Year
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 19 new deaths and 414 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,744 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: Reopenings Expand in L.A. County as Transmission Remains Low; SCV Cases Total 27,744
1971 - Fort Tejon added to National Register of Historic Places [story]
Fort Tejon
%d bloggers like this: