Posts Tagged: oil

Opinion

Fracking’s health impacts must be addressed

An oil derrick at work in Kern County, 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

OPINION: Faced with the decision of whether or not hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be approved in New York, the state’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker publicly asked, “Would I let my family live in a community with fracking? The answer is no. I therefore cannot recommend anyone else’s family to live in such a community either.” In California, some 5.4 million people (14 percent of the state’s population) live within a mile of at least one of the state’s total of 84,000 oil and gas wells, according to the NRDC.

Opinion

Low-carbon fuel standard a key to national security

OPINION: By accelerating the development and deployment of alternatives to oil, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard—which the Air Resources Board will consider this week —helps untangle us from regimes that do not share our values. It helps make our nation stronger by weakening regimes that use oil to pay for their murderous acts, and makes the world a little bit safer.

News

Drought, oil price decline pummel Kern

Pumpjacks in a Kern County oil field, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

Oil and water don’t mix, but in Kern County they’ve joined to create a double-whammy. Already confronting a drought of historic proportions, Kern County — the nation’s No. 2 agricultural county — also faces a severe financial hit because of falling oil prices. The county is home to more than two-thirds of California’s oil production.

Opinion

Closing a Sanctuary Act loophole

An oil-drilling platform off California's southern coast. (Photo: Theo Fitzhugh)

OPINION: The California legislature passed the Coastal Sanctuary Act, which banned offshore drilling in state waters in most of the state. But the way the Act was drafted, it created a loophole that makes it possible to start new offshore drilling in one place only in California: Tranquillion Ridge in Santa Barbara County.

News

Poll: Curb greenhouse gases — but watch the wallet

The San Ardo oil field, Monterey. Photo: Loco Steve, Wikimedia

Most Californians support the state’s landmark law mandating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a statewide survey released today. More specifically, strong majorities support two aspects of the state’s efforts to address global warming: a requirement that oil companies produce cleaner transportation fuels and the goal that a third of California’s electricity come from renewable energy sources. But residents’ support declines significantly if these two efforts lead to higher gas prices or electricity bills.

Opinion

Making a case against fracking

The San Ardo oil field, Monterey. Photo: Loco Steve, Wikimedia

Fracking is taking place in urban and rural communities throughout the state, and continues to be a regular practice in California’s ocean waters. Concerned about potential impacts, Congresswoman Lois Capps has called for a moratorium on fracking in federal waters until more is understood about the risks of the practice.

News

Oil severance tax at center stage

Pumpjacks in a Kern County oil field, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

It has been killed repeatedly in the state Legislature or at the ballot box, but the backers of an oil severance tax hope 2014 is the year to get it done, to the tune of $2 billion annually. But history is not on their side. Above: Pumpjacks in Kern County, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

News

Brown: Thumbs down on oil severance tax

Gov. Brown summarily rejected the notion of a per-barrel tax on California oil as it comes from the ground, a move that sharply limits the political options of the tax’s backers who hoped to get a bill through the Legislature to raise perhaps $2 billion annually.

Opinion

Skilled trades offer path to prosperity

Once, college was seen as the destination for the smartest high school students. Now, however, some of the smartest young people may be those who decide not to go to a traditional college, but instead pursue a career in the skilled trades.

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