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

07/28/15 City of Oakland Declares Humanist Hall a Neighborhood Nuisance, Issues Huge Fines   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Government & Elections
07/27/15 Community Farm on International Blvd Destroyed, But Farmer's Promise Comeback   Police State and Prisons | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services
07/27/15 Fresno Cop Watcher Found Guilty of Vandalism for Chalk Writing on Police Memorial   Police State and Prisons | Central Valley
07/26/15 Two New Arrests Brings Total to Four Arrested for Huge String of ALF Actions in 2013   Police State and Prisons | California | Animal Liberation
07/16/15 RPSC Community Arts Space to Close as Result of Continuing Wave of Oakland Gentrification   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Arts + Action
07/16/15 Forum Participants Engage in Collective Discussion and Organizing to Create Global Change   Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | South Bay
07/16/15 SC11 Say Attempt to Turn Bank into Community Center Could Have "Rippling Impacts"   Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/16/15 Donations Sought for Family of 17-Year-Old Killed by Sheriff's Deputies   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/16/15 Solar Project Agreement Compensates for Loss of Golden Eagle Nesting and Foraging Habitat   Environment & Forest Defense | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/14/15 Supporters of Richard "Pedie" Perez Reject DA's Determination that Killing Was Justified   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
07/13/15 Animal Rights Groups Videotape Injuries to Horses and Calves at Salinas Rodeo   Animal Liberation | Santa Cruz Indymedia