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Demanding Accountability For Kern County Oil & Gas Drilling Projects

A farmer watches oil wells that have sprouted near almond orchards in Shafter, Kern County, California.

A farmer watches oil wells that have sprouted near almond orchards in Shafter, Kern County, California.

Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

What's at Stake

Local residents, who already breathe some of the dirtiest air in the country, will have little to no recourse to challenge future oil and gas extraction activities, including fracking and other oil drilling projects taking place in close proximity to their homes, schools and public spaces.

Overview

Environmental and public health groups are urging Kern County to reject a severely flawed Draft Environmental Impact Report related to proposed revisions of the county’s oil and gas zoning ordinance.

California is the nation's third largest oil-producing state, and more than 80 percent of oil produced in the state comes from Kern County. The proposed ordinance revisions, as requested by the oil industry, purport to “streamline” oil and gas permitting and environmental review in Kern County by shielding oil and gas projects from environmental review and public notice requirements for a minimum of 25 years.

This means that local residents, who already breathe some of the dirtiest air in the country, will have little to no recourse to challenge future oil and gas extraction activities, including fracking and other oil drilling projects taking place in close proximity to their homes, schools and public spaces.

Attorneys

Case Updates

December 17, 2015 | Legal Document

Kern County petition

Lawsuit to safeguard Kern communities from flawed oil & gas drilling amendment

December 9, 2015 | Blog Post

One California County’s Fracked Idea

Kern County is the nation’s largest oil-producing county, and to keep on top it’s not going to let a little thing like public review of new oil and gas permits get in its way.