VC Supes Say Oil Steam Pumping May Contaminate Water Just Up The Coast

Written by on November 7, 2019

In news from up the coast … the oil industry is striking back against Ventura County … which has just extended a ban on new oil well drilling  … and a ban on using steam to push oil out from underneath the strawberry fields of the Oxnard Plain.

Just 17 miles up the road from Malibu … oil wells have been operating for more than 70 years.

The oil companies use steam to loosen the underground oil deposits and suck it up to the surface.

Possibly as a result … the drinking water wells in the same area have gas bubbles in them … and no one knows why … or what kind of gas is coming out.

Tens of thousands of people in Oxnard … Ventura … Port Hueneme and at the Navy Base drink this water … and it is used on vegetables grown there and shipped across the nation.

The county supervisors yesterday extended a temporary ban on the use of steam … and has rejected requests to drill new wells.

The Ventura County Star reports that oil company representatives and union workers are furious.

Oil industry officials have demanded proof from the county that the gas bubbles showing up in drinking water are caused by the steam injections … into the oil-bearing rock just below the drinking water aquifer.

They say the issue is not so much about water quality … as it is a scare tactic to shut down the oil and gas industry. 

The county has asked the federal and state governments … what is happening … and is the water safe to drink???

The U S Geological Service has refused to provide answers.

No explanation from the California Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources.

The oil wells up the coast are a significant source of air pollution … carried by coastal winds down to Malibu almost every day.

This story is based on reporting in the Ventura County Star:

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