Bureau of Land Management

Battle lines are drawn over oil drilling in California

Dec 6, 2019
Adria Watson/CalMatters

Two announcements with implications for California’s oil industry whizzed past each other in recent weeks, revealing starkly conflicting visions for energy development.

After a five-year hiatus on auctions for oil-drilling rights on federal land, Washington finalized a plan to allow them on more than 700,000 acres in 11 Central California counties. A more significant proposal to include parcels on more than 1 million acres in the Bakersfield area is due in the next few months.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the world of equine rescue with Desirae Cogdell, office manager at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in rural Lockwood, Monterey County.

Fracking: Inside a BLM report, environmental impacts, and the public’s response

May 30, 2019
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Fracking has been a hot topic ever since the Trump administration released an environmental review about the possibility of expanding hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in Central California. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held three public meetings on the review; on May 21 in Bakersfield, May 22 in San Luis Obispo and May 23 in Santa Barbara.

Carmen Allison

There are many more visitors than usual these days at the Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County. On Saturday afternoon, March 30, a steady stream of cars headed down the area's bumpy, lumpy dirt roads to check out the visitor's center and drive the length of Soda Lake, the "largest remaining natural alkali wetland in southern California," according to the Bureau of Land Management.

But there's room for everyone on this unique expanse of windswept plain, currently blooming in vivid, riotous yellow, orange and blue wildflowers. If you've had the chance to visit the Carrizo Plain during this super bloom season and would like to share a picture or two, please email to news@kcbx.org and we'll add it to this slideshow.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Some Central Coast residents and environmental groups are alarmed over a current federal study, saying it could open up iconic local places like Morro Rock and Montana de Oro State Park to hydraulic fracking.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County’s Carrizo Plain National Monument survived last year’s effort by the Trump Administration to shrink or revoke national monuments across the country. But recently, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved construction of a new oil well and a pipeline in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A legal settlement this week will make it harder for the Trump administration to open federally-owned public lands to oil and gas development, particularly on the Central Coast.