Newsletter #66 – Cut to the Chase

💝❤️💧 HAPPY LABOR OF  ❤️ DAY 💧❤️💝

Started this in July, kept adding to it now have to cut it down to bare bones because it is time sensitive.  Chop chop here goes.  Right now we are going to connect some dots and rein in some of this chaos and clear the air.

  • June 29th hearing, Center for Biological Diversity v DOGGR and Freeport McMoran, the Judge was not convinced that DOGGR was obligated to perform a CEQA, California Environmental Quality Act, before issuing an aquifer exemption to Freeport McMoRan, now Sentinel.

The whole argument seemed to come down to the meaning of the word ‘project’.  DOGGR and Freeport were expert in badgering the judge with frivolous tidbits and in the end the judge denied the motion to issue an injunction which means Sentinel can keep on dumping toxic waste water in our backyard without an environmental review or permit or a license.  If the Center does not appeal that decision it will stand and we have to do something else to eradicate this noxious weed from our Garden of Eden.

Breaking news and the ‘Something else’ we were looking for.
This court ruling issued on August 30, 2017 changed the courts view point about all the funny talk used by the industry to avoid compliance with just about everything to do with safety and health. Court said enough is enough and to comply or pack it up and get out of Dodge.   Information is power when we put it to work. This ruling works for us.  Let’s use it.


https://www.ecowatch.com/sabal-trail-pipeline-2479133796.html

In Major Climate Decision, DC Circuit Rejects Federal Jiberish on Sabal Trail Pipeline

Aug. 30, 2017 12:22PM EST

This is what we are talking about. Court calls out gross climate change violators and Federal agency’s gross negligence enforcing Federal regulations. Court said there is NO EXCUSE for avoiding Federal safety and health guild lines. NONE. So until and when standards are meet the project is a NO GO. Basically told FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to get their junk together or else.  How this decision could affect the ARROYO Grande oil fields?  Opinion:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/522978307807578/permalink/1212023988903003/

And on that note as we talk about Federal and State agencies flip flopping on regulations

  • There is another lawsuit in the works. Board of Supervisors approved an expired permit for 31 wells last March. That is a clear violation of local, state and Federal rules that specifically state that you can not extend an expired permit.   CBD filed suit to force compliance which means Sentinel must apply for a new permit with all the new updated safety rules and standards to include new earthquake data. I would bet donuts to dollars that not in ten years, not in a hundred years, not in a thousand years would the oil industry ever invest in complying with any safety and health laws. It’s cheaper to buy legislators to write escape clauses. That strategy could back fire since the courts are onto this hocus pocus and aren’t buying it anymore.  Change is in the air.
  • The Board is sitting on the Lawsuit waiting for the much anticipated ‘exemption’ for the oil fields from EPA which they are hoping will make everything easy as pie to approve a fatally flawed permit and hope no one notices but they may be in for a bit of a surprise.  An exemption is not going to save  a host of violations that is the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields.
  • The fields have a history of humming a few bars and faking it going all the way back to 1978 and Phase I and the first issuance of permits for “thermal” oil production wells and toxic waste disposal.  Now it is our turn to say to our elected officials Enough is enough.

    Now get this:
      Teal, Grace, Shell, PXP,  Freeport,
  • 1) Never did get a permit to dump toxic waste in the unincorporated areas of SLO county
  • 2) Nor did the unincorporated area ever get certified as a toxic waste dump site
  • 3) There is no such thing as thermal oil production in the Code of Federation Regulations. Which means it does not fit the description for a Class II exemption.
  • 4) The oil fields are operating without a license or permit from State and Federal agencies.

    So cutting to the chase on this issue and connecting some dots. Lets get our Attorney General involved in prosecuting illegal and unlawful activity.

    The petition to the State Attorney General calling for a shut down of all wells that missed the licensing deadline was sent on Sept. 02.The Arroyo Grande Oil Fields are on that shut down list and an exemption is not going to exonerate them. Here is the email I sent to the signers.

    Dear Friends that signed the petition calling on the State Attorney General Xavier Becerra to shut down those wells that missed the Feb. 15, 2017 shut down deadline.

    Petition with 199 signatures was sent certified mail return receipt requested Sept. 02, 2017. I know that does not sound like a lot of signatures but this was not a popularity contest. It is important to know that it is not how many people ask the reason why this deadline was not invoked that generates a response but rather that the question asked by even one person is deserving of and entitled to an answer. So thank you all for asking.

    I called the Public Inquiry office of the Attorney General and told them I had a petition to deliver to Mr. Becerra that needed a response and what would be the best way to do that.  I told them I would deliver it personally if that would assure a response from the Attorney General.  Staff person Andrew was very helpful and told me that I could send it certified mail with return receipt and a response would come back on Official letterhead from the Attorney General. I liked the sound of that saving me gas and a whole day travel time to Sacramento and back.

    The cover letter to Mr. Becerra asked him why the Feb. 15, 2017 shut down deadline was not invoked and when was he going to do that?  I also told him we did not want any excuses and if he was not going to do it then who was? And if not now then when?

    These are reasonable questions given the advanced notice of the deadline and shut down order issued by DOGGR and State Water Resource Control Board. It was not sudden or a surprise that this deadline was imminent.  It can be assumed that DOGGR and Water Resource found it proper and necessary and in the interest of public safety and health to issue this Feb. 15, deadline and shut down.  
    I contacted the California Against Fracking coalition with over 100 environmental organizations of the delivery of the petition to the Attorney General. Also contacted the San Luis Obispo environmental caucus and will post the response from Mr. Becerra to all of the above. The petition was also addressed to our County Board of Supervisors and will schedule delivery time so that we can all be present for that.

    I am anxious to see where we stand with Mr. Becerra and how he is going to respond.

    Thank you all for being here and for caring enough to get involved and speaking up for our home sweet home.  We are standing our ground.  I think it is safe to say our resolve on this issue of shutting down illegal, unlawful dumping and drilling activity is unflappable.

    Sincerely yours.

    Jean’ne

    AND HERE IS WHY WE CAN NOT TRUST GOV BROWN or anyone affiliated with WSPA WHEN IT COMES TO THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY.


  • We want our Attorney General to do the right thing and restore the confidence and trust in our government by enforcing the shut down of the over 1650 wells in violations of the deadline. The delay is unacceptable. We know the tremendous hold and influence the oil industry has on our legislature and even our Governor. It is very unsettling.  This delay in implementing the shut down might be indicative of that undue influence invading the office of Attorney General. We need to know and see that is not the case.

Governor Brown has jumped into bed and is hiding under the covers with Western States Petroleum Association and passed AB398. A windfall for WSPA.  A blow to Clean Air breathers.

The Western States Petroleum Association is a “non-profit trade association” that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the five western states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada. WSPA is parked in our back yard and overseeing the Sentinel Arroyo Grande oil field project. Our county Board of Supervisors is very familiar with this association.

WSPA’s membership includes a who’s who oil, energy and pipeline corporations including Aera Energy LLC, Chevron, Californian Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Inc., Phillips 66, Plains All American, Inc. Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Refining and Marketing and Valero.  The Nipomo Mesa Refinery will be exempt from Clean Air standards as will the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields. Phillips 66 is on the list and has a pipeline going from the Arroyo Grande oil fields to the Nipomo Mesa Refinery. Thank you Governor Brown.

AB398 was written by WSPA. WSPA submits a bill with language that favors their special interest to legislators whose pockets they have lined with reelection money and legislators return the favor by voting on bills that save the oil industry millions of dollars in compliance costs. Clearly a partnership with considerations that seal the deal.  And just to add a little fuel to this fire the industry is self regulated. So they have put themselves in charge of reporting data that determines their tax rate and violation status and relies on honest and fair dealings.  Rotten to the core politics alive and well in our backyard.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in the West and California. It has spent more than other lobbying organization in Sacramento in recent years to exert control over the Governor’s Office, regulatory agencies, the State Legislature and local municipalities.  SLO county is easy pickings and a real catch for WSPA.  Legislating permits to drill and dump, expansion, pretty much a slam dunk.

The Western States Petroleum Association led the oil industry lobbying expenses with $49,491,104  followed by Chevron with $24,035,901 and Phillips 66 with $4,821,144.

Yea, all that is about to change. Brown is showing his true colors and it’s not green.  The courts are losing patience with corrupt politicians and the residents of this community are done wasting their  time  pussy footing around with politicians that don’t listen and routinely flip us off with reckless disregard and disdain.

This is what sleeping with the enemy looks like.  Brown exempts WSPA membership which is the Oil drilling industry from the Clean Air Act. which renders it useless for health and safety issues. So Brown is out. It’s a Brown out. Becerra is up. Petition is a test to see if he is up to enforcing environmental justice or just another pretty face.

So where do we stand on the home front?

Supervisor Peschong’s appointed Joe Brown to the planning commission.  Not a surprise.  Peschong has never been bashful about showing his true colors. Brown through and through. We know where his loyalties lie. So, it stands to reason that given his past history and in the spirit of full disclosure and fair dealings he will recuse himself on the AGOF permitting process as well.

So, Lets cut to the quick. Lynn Compton District 4 is not shy either about her loyalty to Chairperson Peschong. Lynn is up for reelection. If we want to change the topography of this Board we need some fresh, new energy that can embrace clean, healthy, productive, prosperous and safe living and lifestyles choices.

Tall order. And rising to the occasion is Jimmy Paulding out of Arroyo Grande.

Meet Jimmy Paulding

Official campaign announcement at the Labor Day Picnic hosted by the Democratic Party on September 4th from 11:00am – 2:00pm at Strother Park in Arroyo Grande.  Ask Jimmy if he will sign a pledge not to take any oil money. I think we should ask all our supervisors to take this pledge and see what they say.   District 4 Supervisor will be voting on County issues so it would behoove all of us in the county to campaign for someone we can trust our great outdoors and life style choices with.     So do come and meet Jimmy at the picnic and see what you think.

 

South County ‘could be better served,’ says challenger to SLO Supervisor Lynn Compton

Real real quick.

What’s up with our water?  Bookmark option.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) new national Tap Water Database is the most complete source available on the quality of U.S. drinking water, aggregating and analyzing data from almost 50,000 public water systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Check it out. Arroyo Grande is on the list in violation of Federal Safe Drinking Water Standards.  You can put in your zip code and it will pull up any city public water system. San Luis Obispo came up too.  Violations clearly indicate unsafe levels. When exemptions are in place unsafe levels are o.k. and there is no urgency to fit the problem.  That has all got to change. Kind of the theme for this newsletter.

And last thing.

This just breaks my heart.

 

And it really seems very short sighted and unimaginative, just down right lazy and unresponsive on the part of the developers to just resort to cutting down, destroying these living beings  that provide so much esthetic value and worth that overflow into a sense of comfort and well being for everyone graced by their presence.

Missed this hearing date. Just darn.

Maybe we could still email our comments to the San Luis Obispo tree committee. It is worth a shot. Save these beautiful trees. They don’t have to die. Little extra effort by the developers could save them if we raise enough of a concern. These trees are part of our identity. We nurtured them. Cared for them in sickness and in health, freezing and sweltering temperatures.  We need to be saving them and appreciating them.  Here’s contact info. Get on the slocity tree committee newsletter. So the next time they announce comments on tree removal we can show up in force.  Still write a comment about this tree removal. It is worth a shot and the lest we can do in return for all the good these trees have done for us. https://www.slocity.org/government/advisory-bodies/agendas-and-minutes/tree-committee

That’s It.

Can you imagine the full version? Don’t even.

There is so so much going on in our county and so many wonderful, dedicated, people, putting it all out there, every day and in every way for everyone.  We are a force. And there are some really exciting, earth changing, earth shattering, in a good way projects and issues coming down the pike that are going to take our breath away. So Stand by people,  take a deep breath and prepare to trip the light fantastic. We got everything we need, to do exactly what we need to do, to get to exactly where we need to be.  We are all synced up. Don’t forget to breathe.

Much much love always,

Jean’ne

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