Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is PXP "fracking" our hills?

Howdy friends and neighbors of the hills!

There are disturbing revelations coming out of the Baldwin hills regarding Plains Exploration & Production (aka: PXP) and their use of a controversial method of well stimulation called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" for short.  Folks living near PXP's Inglewood oilfield are blaming the oil company for damaging their homes and possibly causing all sorts of other problems like water pollution and even earthquakes!

Worst of all, the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), the state agency responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry, has admitted it doesn't keep track of which wells are fracked or how often!

Enough of my yapping though, y'all need to watch this video report by KCET:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Is fracking going on in the Montebello Hills?   Well, remember the meeting mentioned in the KCET video?  Representatives from the Sierra Club's Save the Montebello Hills Task Force trekked on over to that same meeting to ask this very question.  Unfortunately, due to the rather "hostile" attitude in the room, the question about Montebello had to wait until after the meeting was over.

Mr. Jason Marshall, chief deputy director of the state’s Department of Conservation (DOC), [the state agency over DOGGR], wasn't able to give a definite answer about fracking in Montebello and said he'd have to ask PXP.  (I wouldn't hold my breath waitng for an answer from them!)  Mr. Marshall was a mite bit surprised to learn that PXP has been charged with 8 misdemeanor counts for violating state water pollution laws for an oil spill that reached the Rio Hondo River back in 2010.  (See my previous posts on this subject.)

Well folks, I'll let ya'll know if anyone from the Save the Montebello Hills Task Force ever hears back from Mr. Marshall.  In the meantime, here's where ya'll can learn more about the March 8, 2012 meeting:

Culver City Patch/March 8
Public Forum Tonight to Discuss Fracking in the Baldwin Hills/Inglewood Oil Field

NRDC Switchboard
Damon Nagami's Blog/March 9
Fracking in the Baldwin Hills

Los Angeles Wave/March 14
Residents express new concerns about 'fracking' at Baldwin Hills oil drilling

LA Weekly/ March 16
Are 1 Million L.A. County Residents Getting Fracked Over by Oil Company PXP?

After watching that video, I hope you're asking yourself, "If this is the type of damage that happens to homes located on the edge of a PXP oilfield, why would anybody consider buying a home built in the middle of one?"  I sure hope our Montebello city officials are paying attention to the news and keep these things in mind when it comes time to vote on  the proposed housing project.

Daisy Mae


  1. They have been Fracking in the montebello hills for over 30 years. It is one of the oldest oil fields in LA and should be depleted. Fracking would be the easy way to get all the oil out of from deeper levels along with advanced drilling. Fracking can be done with water or carbon dioxide.

  2. Howdy Tim,

    The Save the Montebello Hills Task Force (Sierra Club) has been keeping close tabs on the state agencies responsible for regulating hydraulic fracturing in California. Just recently, there was a public meeting held by the South Coast Air Quality Control Management District letting folks know about a proposal to draft new air quality regulations specifically related to "fracking."

    The State of California's Department of Conservation - Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) is also in the process of drafting new rules to cover fracking and fracking related activities.

    Last December, DOGGR released a "pre-draft" of it's new rules but a lot of folks are upset the rules don't go far enough to protect public health and natural resources.

    By the by, the Task Force is still waiting for a formal acknowledgement from DOGGR that fracking has occurred in the Montebello Hills. You see the problem is, DOGGR has admitted they don't keep track of that kind of information!

    Thanks for writing.

    Daisy Mae