"Economy over Environment" - Reuters Reporting

What I'm reading this morning - 

If you needed any proof that the recent and ongoing efforts to remove protections for national public lands and offshore sanctuaries had to do with allowing more fossil fuel extraction read these excellent pieces by Valerie Volcovici and Ron Buosso for Reuters. 

From Volcovici's piece, a quote from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke - 

"There is a social cost of not having jobs," the former Montana Congressman and Navy Seal said in the interview on Friday. "Energy dominance gives us the ability to supply our allies with energy, as well as to leverage our aggressors, or in some cases our enemies, like Iran," he said.

Rosenmund.jpgThe argument of jobs vs. protecting the environment is a trumped up (pun intended) mantra rooted in the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry - the oil industry has been here in Ventura County, and the nation and the world for over 100 years - we have new technology and new knowledge that shows us the harm done by using this fuel source and the ways we can eliminate that harm. The reason we have not made the switch  is simple - money.

It is important for the public to understand - something I learned from reading Bill McKibben's "Oil and Honey" - the current value of (stock price) of an oil and gas extractor is based on the applied value of the assets still in the ground. The reserves they can point to still locked in the earth, that is why the industry fights tooth and nail against environmental protections, tougher air emissions rules and so on - what would happen if we actually moved to a renewal energy system?  

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Seep or Spill at Soule Park?

Officials are content with unconfirmed source of oil in San Antonio creek after winter storms - 


CFROG is working across Ventura County to ensure all spills and leaks are properly investigated and a thorough report that identifies the true source and cause are filed. 

The following is from a letter sent to the Ventura County Planning and Environmental Health Departments on May 15, 2017 - 

Prior to February 22, 2017 there was an oil spill located on Lion/Black Mountain (Ojai Valley) and the Bentley Lease. CFROG has reviewed the report dated Feb. 22, 2017, on the follow-up inspection and was disappointed that no serious attempt was made to reach the source of the spill or seep – which seems necessary to conclude the true nature and source of the spill.  The territory on that hillside is not impassable, nor very strenuous, however there is likely some poison oak. 

Here is the finding from the report we received as reported by VC Environmental Health - 

We confirmed oil globules flowing with water in the canyon although the source could not be located due to poor accessibility.

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Offshore Pipelines

Remember the infrastructure - Platforms & Pipelines

California has regulations that are likely to protect our coastline from the efforts in Washington to open up more offshore drilling - but with so much focus on the platforms - we sometimes ignore the accompanying infrastructure. 

Off the Ventura County coast there are underwater pipelines that carry the oil and gas from the offshore wells to land - here is a great LA Times article with maps showing the pipelines - What are the conditions of the pipelines? 

Graphic from the LA Times: 

la-pol-g-california-offshore-drilling-20170428.jpg

 

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Impacts Must Be Studied

Court Says Impacts of Pipeline at Standing Rock were not studied - 

Today a court has said the impact review was inadquate - 

Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial. 

Ventura_Hillside_Aera.jpgAppeal is likely in the matter at Standing Rock, and you can bet the fossil fuel industry everywhere is watching. These battles are happening in communities across the United States and here in Ventura County...

Photo: google earth image of Ventura Oil Field operated by Aera Energy, permitted under an Antiquated Permit with no expiration date and no current environmental review.

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