News from the Oil Fields

From HOLD: “Yesterday we had our first meeting in the Hames Vaelly with an ACOE colleague and consulting biologist for Central California who is assisting with evaluating what we can, given access restraints. Venoco will be installing a new frackingrig and well on this hill which is right at the intersection of San Marcos Road (G-18), Jolon Road and the Highway 101 intersection where the Hames Valley Watershed meets the Salinas. It appears this will be the “before” image. How this can be consistent with hillside development requirements in the general plan remains a true mystery. Given the location, we expect it to be even more visible than the others.

We will send the after picture once the rig is in place, about a week I think. The once pastoral view corridor of these vast remaindered grazing lands is rapidly changing– not too mention any less visible consequences beneath the surface.

Chevron is collecting water quality samples at their injection site downgradient from this and the other new fracking well. We will try to get some baseline data, pre-fracking, from this source. Chevron is a responsible and decent company and I suspect we will be able to gather the data needed everyone says is required to monitor fracking impacts on watersheds.

In line: one new proposed well on Jolon Road, one just heard by LUAC, 10 new shallow wells in the middle of the San Ardo Field (these are all on file with the County), BLM lease sale for fracking wells (at least 30 lease properties to be developed as fracking wells) and a new plant based on the Chevron Model of injection pulls and spreading into the Salinas River.

We are trying to define with certainty what the Bush-Cheney Energy Act exempted from review for fracking wells though we believe it to be at least the Clean Water Act, DOGGER review under this Act, Clean Air Act, and Safe Water Drinking Act. Will keep you posted on this matter. If this is the case, any new fracking well is unregulated for health and safety unless the County does the job or prohibits this type of well.

Thats the news from the oil front. ~C”