Full story coming soon. Stay Tuned. Have you read the current VC Reporter yet? VCInFocus is proud to have story by yours truly, Kimberly Rivers, featured on the cover. See the great shot of the "grasshopper" pumps on the right of this page? Click over there to read the story.
BREAKING: TODAY in LA Times: County in NM First COUNTY to BAN Fracking! With VC told they cannot ban fracking here is an economically drained community choosing to turn it's back on potential revenue from fracking in order to protect itself from the potential harm.
"We are one of the poorest counties in the nation, yes, but we are money-poor, we are not asset-poor," Olivas said. "We've got land, we've got agriculture, we've got our heritage and we've got our culture."
Click HERE to read full story in Today's LA TIMES.
And this is just the day before a citizens group will be represented by the Environmental Defense Council to make their case to the County Planning Commission here in Ventura that no wells should be added to an old land use permit without adequate environmental impact reports. It seems to beg the question "What are County staff and official in VC missing that the folks in New Mexico understand?" They ban the process outright, and here wells are approved without basic environmental impact assessment?
Is it true that to do such reporting would "overburden" the industry and Supervisor Peter Foy (Simi) says? Is it true that we need the jobs so much that the risks are worth it?
EDC to Represent CFROG in Appeal
Member, Citizens For Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG.org)
P.O. Box 114
Ojai, CA 93024
Environmental Defense Center
906 Garden St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
May 28, 2013
Environmental Defense Center to represent Citizens For Responsible Oil and Gas in appeal of Ventura County approval of 9 new oil and gas wells in Ventura County, with inadequate environmental review
The newly formed community group -- Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) -- has retained the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) to represent it in its Thursday, May 30, appeal before the Ventura County Planning Commission to ensure full environmental review of the impacts of nine new oil and gas wells and two reworked wells in the Upper Ojai Valley.
April 24, the county Planning Division approved Mirada Petroleum’s application to drill nine new oil and gas wells and rework two wells, based on a 28-year-old review of the project that does not take into account environmental impacts to local water and air quality, water usage, wildlife and the health and safety of nearby residents. With a looming oil boom driven by fracking, now is the time for Ventura County to take a big-picture look at the consequences such a boom would have on not only the environment and public health, but other economic drivers, including agriculture and tourism.
“The EDC was founded more than 35 years ago in the wake of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill in order to empower local community organizations working to protect the environment,” said Brian Segee, staff attorney for the EDC, a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara. “CFROG is exactly the type of client we formed to represent. In representing CFROG in its appeal to the Ventura County Planning Commission, we hope to help CFROG achieve its very reasonable goal to bring greater transparency and full environmental analysis of Mirada’s project. Hopefully, it will set a model for the county’s consideration of future oil proposals.”
Donations to support costs associated with the appeal can be made at the CFROG Web site, www.CFROG.org, or by mailing a check payable to CFROG mailed to: P.O. Box 114, Ojai, CA 93024.
The county Planning Commission will hold the appeal hearing on Thursday, May 30, at 8:30 a.m. at the county Government Center, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room in the Administration Building, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura.
For more information, visit CFROG.org or contact John Brooks by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 805-649-2510.
Did you catch Gasland I ? it is available on Netflix instant streaming and on YouTube HERE . It is a documentary by Josh Fox about gas fracking in areas throughout the east coast. It is the one with the now infamous images of folks lighting their water on fire. Their water coming out of their kitchen taps.
There was a backlash to Gasland I with a movie called FrackNation that claims to poke holes in the story Fox tells and criticizes the funding sources for Gasland.
Now Gasland II is coming out on the west coast. Just in time for our local fracking boom. (well actually it's been here for sometime, but it's still timely)
Gasland II will show on Friday, May 31, 7 p.m. at UCSB, Buchanan Hall, Room 1910. Director Josh Fox is scheduled to attend.
For details and other screenings CLICK HERE.
And if you see the movie I'd love to hear what you thought about it. Send a note to: VCIN
And the Environmental Defense Center will rep. CFROG in appeal full story soon.
In a four to one vote - with Supervisor Peter Foy casting the only nay vote - County Supervisors have asked for a change in the conditional use permit application for new oil and gas drilling in the County. The measure also seeks information on how modifications to "antiquated" CUPs can be required to have current environmental impact reports done,prior to any additional wells.
Stay tuned - that piece about old CUPs may have a big effect on a current matter (details coming soon).
Here is todays STAR article on this hearing, http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/21/supervisors-ok-fracking-rules-for-ventura-county/
Just announced. that Supr. Bennett & Supr. Parks have signed a letter requesting various items of information related to fracking from County Counsel, and the item is on tomorrows agenda: Tuesday, May 21, 1:30 pm .The letter is below and you can watch the hearing live by Clicking HERE.
According to an email received from Brian Baca - head of the Industrial & Commercial permitting section of Ventura County Planning, the VC Planning Commission will hear the case on the appeal of 9 new and 2 reworked wells on May 30.
A group of residents that have formed a group Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas or CFROG (www.CFROG.org) was one of two parties to appeal the recent planning decision to approve Mirada Oil's plans for new wells in an area above Thomas Aquinas college and bordering national forest land.
CFROG has appealed in order to force the County to conduct an environmental review of the requested modification.
The oil fields in that area contain some of the oldest wells in the state. And is not far from the location of the first comericially viable well that was drilled in 1867.
Mirada oil applied for a minor modication to it's Conditional Use Permit to allow it to drill 9 new wells, and rework 2 existing wells (Click here for full story on Mirada's application and appeal.
The appeal will take place on Thursday, May 30 at 8:30 am at the VC Government Center, on Victoria Avenue in the Board of Supervisors meeting room.
Tomorrow: Wed. May 15: Debate begins in Appropriations
A few weeks ago the "BLOOM BILL" or AB 1301 - authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom that calls for a moratorium on fracking until regulations are in place and require review of the potential environment impacts of the controversial well completion process - made it through the Natural Resources Committee. Now it heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and debate begins tomorrow, May 15. This committee deals with things that cost money, and it may be a tight debate.
Residents of California: Call any Committee member and let them know where you stand on this bill.
PLEASE CALL BEFORE WEDNESDAY, MAY 15.
1. Speaker of the Assembly, Assemblymember John Pérez, (916) 319-2053
2. Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Assemblymember Mike Gatto, (916) 319-2043
The potential swing votes are noted in bold. It's great to call YOUR REPRESENTATIVES but you can also call any and/or all of the committee members.
Raul Bocanegra Dem - 39 (916) 319-2039
(Arleta, North Valley, Sun Valley)
Steven Bradford Dem - 62 (916) 319-2062
(Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo)
Ian C. Calderon Dem - 52 (916) 319-2057
(City of Industry, Whittier, Hacienda Heights, southeast of LA)
Susan Talamantes Eggman Dem - 13 (916) 319-2013
Isadore Hall, III Dem - 64 (916) 319-2064
Diane L. Harkey (Vice Chair) Rep - 73 (916) 319-2005
Nora Campos Dem - 27 (916) 319-2027
Tim Donnelly Rep - 23 ( 916) 319-2033
Jimmy Gomez Dem - 51 (916) 319-2051
Chris R. Holden Dem - 41 (916) 319-2041
Eric Linder Rep - 60 (916) 319-2060
Richard Pan Dem - 09 (916) 319-2009
Bill Quirk Dem - 20 (916) 319-2020
Donald P. Wagner Rep - 68 (916) 319-2068
Shirley N. Weber Dem - 79 (916) 319-2079
Franklin E. Bigelow Rep - 05 (916) 319-2005
Many environmental groups are giving an email push today to get voters active on this issue. The Organic Consumers Association is sending out an email urging supporters of AB 1303 to call and voice support, while industry reps are saying the legislature is jumping the gun and should let the state regulatory agency - DOGGR - complete the process that is currently underway to enact rules regarding fracking.
Citizens for REsponsible Oil & Gas filed appeal with County to force further environmental review. *activity in Upper Ojai may be frack job*
"Local residents are forming a nonprofit organization aimed at working with stakeholders to ensure oil and gas operations in Ventura County have “effective oversight.”
Citizens For Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) was formed by a group of 20 west county residents, in response to what they deem has been a lack of environmental review by Ventura County, which recently approved nine new oil wells and two wells to be reopened in the area above Thomas Aquinas College in Upper Ojai."
Click here to read the full story in the Ojai Valley News by Kimberly Rivers on Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas or CFROG.
This photo, taken at about 2:40 pm on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, shows a Baker Hughes tank truck parked on Topa Vista Road in Upper Ojai. That is the fire department in the background just across hwy 150.
There is also a sign on the ground just at the rear of the truck that reads "coil tubing".
In trying to determine what this truck is waiting to do and what "coil tubing" means I contacted Dr. Tom Williams. He holds PhD in Geology and Zoology from Berkeley, and has worked around the world for dozens of oil companies as a consultant. He provided me with the following information that includes information from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coiled_tubing)
Nitrogen can be used down hole to clear or clean a well and could be used to frack
The most popular use for coiled tubing is circulation or deliquification. A hydrostatic head (a column of fluid in the well bore) may be inhibiting flow of formation fluids due to its weight (the well is said to have been killed). The safest (though not the cheapest) solution would be to attempt to circulate out the fluid, using a gas, frequently nitrogen (Often called a 'Nitrogen Kick'). By running coiled tubing into the bottom of the hole and pumping in the gas, the kill fluid can be forced out to production. Circulating can also be used to clean out light debris, which may have accumulated in the hole. Coiled tubing umbilicals can convey hydraulic submersible pumps and jet pumps into wells. These pumps allow for inexpensive and non invasive well cleanouts on low pressure CBM (coal bed methane) gas wells. These umbilicals can also be run into deviated wells and horizontal laterals.
Ventura County Board of Supervisors were told they couldn't say no to fracking. They are told that they have to stay within the current processes for land use permitting. California lawmakers grapple with several bills on different regulatory aspects, and moratoriums, while the state regulatory agency of oil and gas - DOGGR- is moving ahead with fracking regulations - and all the while New York has banned fracking. And the courts have upheld those bans.
Here is an excellent fracking blog, done by a law firm on the east coast, they are watching the events unfold across the nation. Here is the post on the NY bans and their run through the courts:
Seemingly in direct contrast to what VC County Counsel told the Supervisors, the NY appellate court said the local governments are well within their right to ban these activities. HEre is the Fulbright Blog's synopsis (click link below for FULL piece)
"On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the ruling of the lower court. The appellate court found that the zoning ordinance “does not seek to regulate the details or procedure of the oil, gas and solution mining industries. Rather, it simply establishes permissible and prohibited uses of land within the Town for the purpose of regulating land generally.” The court acknowledged that the zoning ordinance will inevitably have an incidental effect upon the oil and gas industry. Nonetheless, the court found that the OGSML does not preempt a municipality’s authority to enact a local zoning ordinance banning all activities related to the exploration for, and the production or storage of, natural gas and petroleum within its borders. "