Recent Stories

  1. County's top oil regulator steps down

    Kern County's top oil regulator retired abruptly Friday, becoming the second person in two years to leave the post earlier than planned. Burt Ellison, 55, declined Wednesday to specify his reasons for stepping down, but blamed state...


    Biomass co-gen plant fires up local officials

    Until about a year ago, nearly 2 million pounds a day of agricultural waste and urban tree trimmings would go up in smoke or get trucked to a landfill, and nobody really benefited from it. Not anymore. Now it fuels a power plant north of...

  3. Chad Hathaway

    Local oil producers feel effects of federal shutdown

    It figures the federal government would shut down this week, just as Chad Hathaway's Highway 65 gas pipeline project was coming up for approval. Now, with federal workers on furlough, a year's worth of planning, conducting environmental...

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    Agencies to pay millions in tax assessment settlement

    County officials settled Occidental Petroleum's property tax assessment challenge Tuesday, costing state and local governments $31 million in property tax money. Seventeen agencies including schools, special districts and the county of...

  5. CSUB study aims to help meet water standards

    A Cal State Bakersfield geologist is leading a "herculean" local study designed to help bring state oil regulators into compliance with federal rules for protecting drinking water. Professor Jan Gillespie recently began working with CSUB...


    County launches review to change oil permitting

    Kern County is kicking off a months-long review that could fundamentally change government oversight of petroleum production in the heart of California oil country. The county's Planning and Community Development Department plans Friday...

  7. Investigators find illegal dumping at second Vintage oil field sump

    A local oil producer may face closer scrutiny and the industry in general more regulation after water quality watchdogs found a second instance of unauthorized chemical dumping in a Shafter-area pond. The Central Valley Regional Water...

  8. Texas oilman, fracking pioneer George P. Mitchell dies at 94

    HOUSTON -- George P. Mitchell leveraged a penchant for hard work, an appetite for risk and dogged persistence in the face of futility into a technological breakthrough that reshaped the global energy industry and made the wildcat oilman a...

  9. Bill proposes new rules on oil field 'acidization'

    The fuss over hydraulic fracturing may have been only the beginning. Legislation pending in Sacramento targets another widely used oil field technique -- acidization, or "acid jobs" -- that some consider to be just as useful as fracking,...

  10. Auditors question federal subsidy of project

    Federal auditors have raised red flags over the Obama administration's 2011 decision to invest an extra $100 million in the Hydrogen Energy California power and fertilizer plant proposed in western Kern County. A June 6 audit report by...

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    Hydrogen proposal criticized: Two agencies raise many questions about the project near Tupman

    A proposed hydrogen energy plant west of Bakersfield got some bad news late Friday when two government agencies issued a detailed report raising multiple questions about the project. The analysis found  “significant, and for the most...

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    SoCal Edison decides to close San Onofre nuclear plant

    LOS ANGELES -- The troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant on the California coast is closing after an epic 16-month battle over whether the twin reactors could be safely restarted with millions of people living nearby, officials announced...

  13. Argentine Supreme Court rules in favor of Chevron

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentina's Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended a freeze on the Argentine assets of Chevron Corp. that had been ordered late last year following a suit by the winners of a $19 billion environmental judgment in...

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