oil drilling

Katie Davis

Three projects aimed at expanding oil drilling in Santa Barbara County's Cat Canyon Oil Field were under consideration just three months ago. Today, only one remains.

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.

Greta Mart/KCBX

An oil company's plan to build a new oil well and pipeline in the Carrizo Plain National Monument has been blocked, after the California Bureau of Land Management (BLM) overruled a 2018 decision by the BLM’s Bakersfield field office.

Broadcast date: 2/1/2018

The plan for new offshore drilling proposed off the California Coast by the Trump Administration -- said to be the largest expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. history— along with local concerns over the threat of expanded oil production and fracking in San Luis Obispo County, has bought worry to many along the Central Coast.  Memories of recent devastating oil spills in Santa Barbara and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, both of which caused massive environmental disasters, are still fresh in people’s minds, as well as numerous reports of increased earthquake activity in fracking areas.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters and the outer continental shelf. It calls for a review of current five-year plan for oil and gas leases, and directs the secretary of the interior to establish a streamlined permitting process.