Kern Gusher Blog

Recent Stories

  1. Sierra Club questions coal plant's mention in PG&E emails to regulator

    BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer
    Wednesday, Sep 17 2014 04:33 PM

    Environmentalists against a proposed clean coal plant in Kern County are raising concerns about the project's mention in newly disclosed emails showing possibly inappropriate communication between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and its primary regulator.

    The Sierra Club points to a Jan. 22 message from a former PG&E vice president to a former aide to the president of the California Public Utilities Commission stating the company expected to have "a harder time" with the $4 billion Hydrogen Energy California project unless the agency switched out the administrative law judge assigned to an agency proceeding.

    The writer and the recipient of the message, along with two other PG&E executives, were ousted this week over the email string, which...

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    Oil producers wonder what effect refinery project will have on barrel prices

    California's oil industry is raising questions about what effect Alon USA Energy Inc.'s oil-by-rail project on Rosedale Highway will have on local crude prices. An electronic newsletter issued Monday by the California Independent...

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    Farmer lawsuit blames crop loss on oil companies' waste injections

    A local farming company has sued four Kern County oil producers, claiming their waste disposal injections contaminated groundwater it uses for irrigation. The lawsuit filed Monday in Kern County Superior Court says plaintiff Palla Farms...

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    Oil companies square off over sinkhole death

    Neighboring oil producers in Kern County's prolific Midway-Sunset Oil Field are waging a court battle over whose steam injections may have created the sinkhole that swallowed a 54-year-old grandfather on the first day of summer 2011. His...

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    Oxy spinoff delays proposed energy plant

    A $4 billion, 200-employee energy and chemical plant proposed in western Kern County has been placed on hold because of Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s spinoff of its California operations. The 453-acre Hydrogen Energy California plant planned...

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    County says refinery changes would bring more benefits than risks

    Kern County staff have determined economic benefits outweigh the potential harm to air quality, groundwater and natural habitat if Alon USA Energy Inc. moves forward with controversial changes to its refinery on Rosedale Highway. The...


    Fracking study may allow feds to resume lucrative oil leases in Kern

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management took a big step toward resuming auctions of federal property in California for oil and gas production with its release Thursday of an independent scientific review of well stimulation activities in the...

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    State shuts two more oil field disposal wells in Kern

    California regulators have shut in two more Kern County oil field disposal wells, bringing the total to 11 facilities idled since the start of July. State Oil and Gas Supervisor Steven R. Bohlen issued emergency orders Aug. 18 closing the...


    State outlines plan to improve injection well oversight

    A preliminary state assessment has identified problems with the way California reviews oil field disposal wells, and determined its regulators may lack adequate training, accountability and proper qualifications. The early findings,...

  10. Federal EPA sets deadlines for state action on injection wells

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given California regulators a series of deadlines -- some coming as soon as next week -- for developing plans of action and producing other information related to the state's oversight of oil...

  11. Letter from 1985 spares about 100 wells from shutdown

    The state-ordered shutdown of a dozen local waste disposal wells has made this a troubling summer for Kern County's oil industry. But it could have been far worse. Until several few weeks ago, California oil regulators thought they had no...

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    Oxy prepares to cut loose its California operations

    One of the biggest names in Kern County petroleum production is moving swiftly to spin off its California operations in a move expected to boost investment in -- and in some cases modernize -- local oil fields. Since announcing spinoff...

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    State shuts another Kern oil injection well

    State oil regulators have added another Kern County disposal well to the list of 11 shut down under emergency orders in July because officials worry they may have contaminated protected groundwater. State records indicate that last year... Daily Deal!

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