California Oil & Gas Blog

The Golden State Exemptions Part 2: The Aquifer Exemption Resistance

By John Noël and Andrew Grinberg; October 8, 2015

In part 1 we talked about a little know secret in our federal drinking water law that allows the oil and gas industry legally destroy California’s aquifers.

Shut Down Illegal Injection Well: OFFICIAL COMMENT

California's failure to protect groundwater from the oil and gas industry has been front and center for months now.  State regulators mistakenly permitted over 2,500 wells to inject potentially toxic oil and gas waste and other fluids for enhanced oil recovery into federally protected aquifers. More than 2,000 of these wells are still operating and the state is finalizing regulations that would allow them to stay open.

Join us in calling on Governor Brown and the Department of Conservation to shut down illegal injection wells by making an official comment on these regulations. Click here to read more about the regulations.

California Assembly caves to corporate polluters: Oil and Gas interests take priority over safe drinking water

Despite  a  crippling  drought  and  a  massive  failure  by  the  State  to  protect  groundwater  from  oil  and  gas  injection  wells,  Assembly  Bill  356  (Das  Williams)  failed  to  pass  its  floor  vote  today,  garnering  only  28  votes  of  the  41  needed  to  pass  the  Assembly.  The  bill  was  granted  reconsideration  and  can  be  brought  up  again  next  year.  The  failed  vote  will  mean  that  oil  companies  can  continue  to  inject  toxic  chemicals  into  the  ground  without  monitoring  for  contamination  in  nearby  aquifers  used  for  drinking  and  irrigation.  On  Thursday,  US  EPA  released  an  assessment  that  confirms  that  fracking  and  other  oi
Published On: 
06/04/2015 - 22:50

California Currents - Summer 2015

California Currents
summer 2015 edition
California’s Water Crisis and the Three Rs of Water

California’s rainy season is over. The map below shows the drought’s severity and explains why the Governor and State Water Board mandated a 25% cut in urban water use.

California Drought Map 2015

The Water Board created 8 conservation tiers, ranging from 8% to 36% cuts, with conservation goals based on each community’s average daily per capita water use. San Francisco, East Los Angeles and other cities currently using less than 50 gallons per day must cut 8% from their 2013 levels (to avoid penalizing 2014 conservation), while Beverly Hills and Hillsborough must cut 36%. Santa Cruz and some other places have already met their conservation goals, and need only continue their current efforts. Other cities still need to develop rules to reach their conservation targets. 

Lawns are among Governor Brown’s targets, as a form of landscape that doesn’t belong in a dry state. The Board’s priority is outdoor water use, which accounts for half of the state’s residential water use.

Support Your Right to Know!

Clean Water Action is a champion of greater public disclosure about chemicals in products that we are all exposed to every day, especially when those chemicals are toxic and cause human and/or environmental harm.  We need your help today to get 2 bills passed in California that will do just that.

Take action right now!

A Huge Victory for Our Water in California and Across the Nation

Oakland - Today the Obama administration released its long awaited Clean Water Rule. The rule closes loopholes that have left the drinking water sources for more than 1 in 5 Californians at risk of pollution and destruction. Today's release of the Clean Water Rule is the culmination of more than 12 years of advocacy by Clean Water Action, its members, and its allies.

Clean Water Action's California Director, Miriam Gordon, released this statement:

Published On: 
05/27/2015 - 14:55

Support AB 356 to Protect Aquifers from Drilling

Support AB 356 Today! The drought is on everyone's mind, and all Californians are being asked to conserve water. Oil companies however, are continuing to put drinking water aquifers at risk. As new data emerges, it seems every few weeks  more disturbing facts come to light about oil and gas injection wells that may polluting good groundwater. 

"California officials have identified 260 oil company wastewater injection wells that are so shallow or so close to wells used for drinking or irrigation that they could threaten the state’s precious groundwater supplies, new data show." – San Francisco Chronicle May 18, 2015

Take action to make sure that oil companies can no longer inject into potential drinking or irrigation water sources!

Shut Down Illegal Wells Today!

CWARoundButtonBlueTakeAction.pngJoin us today in calling on Governor Brown to shut down all illegal injection wells!

In 2011 US EPA put DOGGR on notice for numerous shortcomings in their implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II program. That’s the regulatory program that oversees oil and gas injection projects. DOGGR took over primacy of that program in 1983 and has been running it ever since. The 2011 critique cited inadequate geologic review, bad record keeping, and not enough expert staff to carry out inspections.

Oil and Gas Wastewater Reform Needed

Take Action!
Kern River Field

Kern River oil field, Bakersfield, CA (Sarah Craig, Faces of Fracking)

As California faces one of the worst droughts in recorded history, State officials have disclosed that they have for many decades allowed oil and gas companies to inject oil and gas wastewater and other contaminated fluids into aquifers that may suitable to be used as drinking water. Oil and gas wastewater is nasty stuff, high in salinity, toxic chemicals and sometimes containing radioactive material. New data has revealed that the wastewater from fracking in California contains cancer-causing benzene and other toxic chemicals hundreds of times the legal limit for drinking water.

Catwalk for Clean Water

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