Le Lézard
Classified in: Oil industry, Environment, Covid-19 virus
Subjects: SVY, ENI, AVO

CA Oil Well Permits Under Gov. Newsom Outpace First Quarter Last Year In Loss For Public Health, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance Report


LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, new oil well permits under Gov. Gavin Newsom rose 7.8% in the first quarter of 2020 through April 4, compared to the first quarter of 2019, Consumer Watchdog and FrackTrackerAlliance reported today. The Newsom Administration issued 1,623 permits during the first quarter of 2020. It also approved 24 fracking permits after a nine-month moratorium. The total number of permits issued under Newsom since he took office in January 2019 is 6,168.

The permit numbers and locations are posted and updated on an interactive map at the website: NewsomWellWatch.com

 "This is terrible news during an unprecedented pandemic," said Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker. "Now that scientists have established a correlation between air pollution caused by the production and combustion of fossil fuels and greater susceptibility to death from Covid-19, issuing zero permits would have been the right thing to do. On top of that, experts tell us that Californians could be liable for $9 billion in cleanup costs for existing oil and gas wells that are or will be eventually abandoned, so we should not be greenlighting even more wells."

The California Geologic Energy Management Division, a branch of the Department of Conservation, issues two main categories of permits: permits to drill new oil and gas wells and permits to rework existing wells. Permits are issued for different types of well activities, including "Enhanced Oil Recovery Wells" (EOR) that use cyclic steaming and water flooding to dislodge oil. (See Table.)

Click here to view Table ? First Quarter Comparison 2019 to 2020:

https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2020-05/1stQtrOilWelss2020.png

Table courtesy of FracTracker Alliance Analysis of Department of Conservation Data

The groups found that permits for drilling new wells rose 27.2%, while permits for reworking existing wells fell 13.4% in a sign that oil companies are literally scraping the barrel.

About 10% of permits issued during the first quarter of 2020 have been issued within 2,500 feet of homes, hospitals, schools, daycares or nursing facilities. This is similar but slightly lower than the average for all of 2019 (12.2%).

"Regardless of where oil and gas wells and stimulations are permitted, near or close to Frontline Communities, these wells all degrade the regional air quality of the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley has some of the worst air quality in the country." said Kyle Ferrar, Western Program Coordinator for FracTracker.

"In addition to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) being both air toxics and carcinogens that negatively impact frontline communities, these pollutants are precursors to the regional ozone and smog pollution that causes health impacts such as asthma, COPD, cardiovascular disease, and negative birth outcomes."

According to the U.S. EPA, oil and gas production is a main contributor of VOCs and smog-forming nitrogen oxides in the San Joaquin Valley. Beyond the Valley, the American Lung Association recently assigned 62% of California's 58 counties Ds and Fs for air quality. See: http://www.stateoftheair.org

In 2019, the number of permits issued under Newsom reached virtually the same level as the number issued in 2018 by big oil booster Gov. Jerry Brown during his last year in office?despite Newsom's firing of the state Oil & Gas Supervisor last July.

At that time, the groups reported eight oil regulators were invested up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil companies they regulated, permits for new production wells had risen by a runaway 77% over the first six months of the year before and that fracking permits had doubled, a fact that angered Newsom who campaigned on a platform of support for banning the practice.

Newsom quietly put a moratorium on fracking permits pending an independent third-party review by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory while the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) opened an investigation into two of the eight regulators for financial conflicts of interest.

One of the two regulators under FPPC investigation was invested up to $100,000 in Exxon, a parent of Aera Energy, which received the lion's share of permits in 2019, and another was invested up to $100,000 in Chevron, yet another major permit recipient.

The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory is now reviewing another 282 fracking permits. The lab was hired to confirm that the permits met state regulatory standards, which have a low bar and virtually no thorough environmental review.

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog


These press releases may also interest you

at 15:13
Electric service to more than 280,000 Georgia Power customers has been restored following Hurricane Zeta. As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, approximately 417,000 customers are without power across Georgia....

at 14:58
Canada is committed to achieving net zero by 2050 and exceeding our Paris Agreement targets by 2030. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 43 percent of all GHGs in the oil and gas sector, which is why...

at 14:49
Dayton Power & Light Company (DP&L), a subsidiary of The AES Corporation , announces Kristina Lund has been named president and CEO of the utility which serves approximately 527,000 customers in west central Ohio....

at 14:30
LS Power today announced a major investment in a portfolio of renewable natural gas projects as part of its newly established renewable fuels platform....

at 13:47
In the light of the recent US brokered and historic deal, that sees the normalization of relations between the great nations of Sudan and Israel, we the Ethiopian people wish to share our optimism and support for further stability in the Horn of...

at 13:09
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it is for the first time dispensing California-produced renewable natural gas (RNG) at many of the natural gas fueling stations it operates across the state. The utility recently began purchasing...



News published on 7 may 2020 at 16:01 and distributed by: