California

2013-2014 California Legislative Scorecard

A Clean Water Perspective on the 2013-2014 Legislative Session

The 2013-2014 session had an uncertain start as 38  freshman legislators took office, but ended on a high note as many Clean Water priorities – including a first-in the nation statewide ban on plastic bags and historic groundwater legislation – were adopted by an increasingly effective Legislature.

Six of 2013’s freshmen legislators – Assembly members Bloom, Chau, Gomez, Nazarian, Rendon and Stone - became Clean Water Champions in their first term, with Richard Bloom, Anthony Rendon and Mark Stone also authoring Clean Water Action priority bills.  Revised and extended term limits approved by the voters in 2012 (Proposition 28) mean that we can look forward to working with these champions of clean water for several more years.

Your Vote is Your Voice - General Elections Endorsements in California

Please Vote on Tuesday, November 4
  • Proposition 1 – Water Bond - YES
  • San Jose Mayor – Sam Liccardo
  • East Bay Municipal Utilities District Ward 3 -  Marguerite Young
US House of Representatives
  • District 2 – Jared Huffman
  • District 11 – Mark DeSaulnier
  • District 17 – Mike Honda
CA State Senate
  • District 2 – Mark McGuire
  • District 6 – Roger Dickinson
CA State Assembly
  • District 2 – Jim Wood
  • District 7 – Steve Cohn
  • District 10 – Marc Levine
  • District 15 – Tony Thurmond
  • District 16 – Tim Sbranti
  • District 25 – Kansen Chu
On Tuesday, November 4, California voters will go to the polls to select their candidates for hundreds of federal, state, and local offices.  Voters will be choosing between the top two vote-getters from the June primary. In some cases, the candidates facing off may come from the same political party.  

Clean Water Action does not endorse in every race, but reviews each race and determines where to make endorsements based on a variety of factors.

Here's how we made these endorsements:

Clean Water Action reviews candidates’ records and contacts them for additional information. We consider candidates regardless of party and support those who demonstrate a commitment to the environment and our communities.

Based on these and other factors, Clean Water Action makes the following recommendations for November 4.

Yes on Proposition 1 - Water Bond

Clean Water Action has worked for many years to ensure that needed investments in water infrastructure reflect the needs of California.  We support the $7.54 billion water bond on the November ballot because it makes those investments, including

Making Oil and Gas Play by the Same Rules

SB 1281 Will Provide the Tools California Needs to  Manage Water Use by the Oil and Gas Industry

Oakland - Yesterday the Legislature passed SB 1281 (Pavley), which requires disclosure and reporting of water use by oil and gas drilling companies. The bill also requires the reporting and disclosure of wastewater disposal locations and methods.  As the third largest oil producing state, and home to 17 refineries, California faces significant threats from drilling, fracking, and the transport of crude oil by rail. The passage of SB 1281 is one more step by the Legislature to protect California's families and communities from the impacts of fracking and other unconventional methods of oil extraction. Clean Water Action applauds Senator Fran Pavley for her leadership and urges Governor Brown to sign SB 1281 as soon as possible.

Update 9/26/14: Governor Brown signed SB 1281 into law on September 25. Thank you Governor for putting this important measure into place.

Miriam Gordon, Clean Water Action's California Director, released the following statement.

Published On: 
08/29/2014 - 14:24

Oil, Gas and Fracking in California

HOT ISSUE:

Oil and Gas Wastewater Threatens California

The oil industry produces massive volumes of wastewater. 130 billion gallons a year!

Click here to read about the threats this wastestream poses to California and what we can do about it.  

I n addition to better oversight on wastewater disposal, we still need greater protections from fracking. Click the "Stop Fracking" button to take action today and send a message to Governor Brown to support a moratorium on fracking in California! 

Stop Fracking with California!

Clean Water Action is working to protect California from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acidizing and other risky oil production activities. Across the country, communities are suffering from health and environmental impacts related to oil and gas production, including: contaminated drinking water and polluted air, degradation of local waterways, and decreased property values. In most states, fracking operations are designed to extract natural gas reserves. In California, it’s all about oil.

Unlined Pits in Kern County CA

California Currents - Fall 2014

California Currents

Fall 2014 Edition 

Bag Ban Victory

On September 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the first state legislation banning single use plastic bags — a huge victory for the environment! Hawaii has a defacto statewide ban as each island has passed a local ordinance banning single-use plastic bags.

Over the last nine years, similar measures failed to pass in California, but steady growing support organized by Clean Water Action and allies made the winning difference this time. The 121 local bag ban ordinances enacted around the state — many with Clean Water Action’s assistance — combined with grassroots pressure on state lawmakers to push the measure through, finally. Other states are now likely to follow California’s lead, passing their own bag bans. Read more

Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal: Unlined Pits

Click here for printable fact sheet on unlined pits

The oil and gas industry  uses unlined percolation and evaporation ponds to dispose of millions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater in California every day. Unlined pits are designed to percolate oil and gas wastewater into the ground and evaporate it into the air. This disposal method presents immediate threats to groundwater and air quality.  Wastewater that percolates from surface pits can migrate to underground aquifers used for drinking and irrigation and the evaporation of produced water off-gases climate harming methane, volatile organic chemicals, benzene, and other hydrocarbon-associated air contaminants.

Underground Injection: Enhanced Oil Recovery and Disposal by Injection

Kern River Oil Field - Credit: Sarah Craig

                      Kern River Oil Field - Credit: Sarah Craig

An Introduction to Oil and Gas Wastewater in California

Oil and gas wastewater in unlined percolation ponds in Kern County,

Oil and gas wastewater in unlined percolation ponds in Kern County near the Belridge, Elk Hills and Cymric Oil Fields. Photo: Andrew Grinberg 2014

As the fourth largest oil state in the country, California must manage  a massive wastestream from the oil and gas sector. This waste threatens the state's water quality and environmental health. In 2013, the oil and gas industry produced 8 billion gallons of oil in California and 130 billion gallons of wastewater. This represents about 95% of all fluids recovered from California oil wells.

California Unlined Pit Report Supporting Documents

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