SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Front Page

Mon Jul 28 2014 Project Could Launch New Oil Field in Condor Habitat, Waste Millions of Gallons of Water
California Court Rules Against Dangerous Oil Development Near Pinnacles National Park Citing concerns about water use and contamination, a Monterey County Superior Court judge has ruled that San Benito County unlawfully approved a dangerous new oil-development project near Pinnacles National Park that could result in hundreds of wells being drilled in important agricultural and wildlife habitat in the Salinas Valley watershed. As the judge’s ruling notes, “There are numerous opportunities for toxic spills to occur that the County has apparently not contemplated.”

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity challenging the Indian Wells project, which would use cyclic steam injection, a water-intensive and polluting form of oil extraction. The court agreed that San Benito County unlawfully failed to consider development of the oil field beyond the initial 15 “pilot” wells in the challenged approval as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The court also found that the county failed to properly analyze the huge water usage, water pollution risks, greenhouse gas emissions, and threats to the California condor — even from the initial 15 well approval.

The project site drains to the Salinas River, an important source of drinking and irrigation water for some of the world’s most productive farmland. The site is also important foraging habitat for the California condor, a critically imperiled species with a population of only about 430 individuals. “This legal victory helps protect California’s water, wildlife and climate from dangerous new oil development,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “It makes no sense to fast-track dirty and risky new oil projects when it’s painfully obvious we have to shift to clean energy sources to respond to the climate crisis.”

Read More | Center for Biological Diversity

Previous Coverage: Lawsuit Targets San Benito County's Approval of 15 Oil Wells in Endangered Condor Habitat || San Benito County Residents Reach Signature Goal for Fracking Ban Initiative

09/14/14 Half Moon Bay Family also Names County and 911 Dispatcher in Federal Lawsuit   Police State and Prisons | Peninsula
09/14/14 Observers Document Killing of Whales, Dolphins and Sea Lions by Fishery   Environment & Forest Defense | California
09/14/14 Tribal Members and River Advocates Attend Day Celebrating Water Flow   Environment & Forest Defense | Central Valley
09/13/14 Battle for Passage of the ERA has been Fought for 91 Years   Womyn | Peninsula
09/12/14 Officer Who Beat Tarek Abu Khdeir also Suspect in Other Violent Crimes   Anti-War | Palestine
09/07/14 Longtime Santa Cruz Residents Forced Out of Town by City and UCSC   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia
09/04/14 Salinas is 'Our Ferguson' Declares One Demonstrator   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
09/04/14 New Trial Date Set for Santa Cruz Eleven: July 27, 2015   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
08/30/14 Genetically Engineered Crops Are Major Driver in Butterfly's Population Crash   Environment & Forest Defense | Santa Cruz Indymedia
08/29/14 Journalist Brad Kava Attempts to Use Media Hype to Cash-in on Crime with 'Cane-O-Mite'   Santa Cruz Indymedia
08/29/14 After Being Told they Will Arrest her Brother's 'Black Ass,' Woman Films Police   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia