Governor Brown fires anti-oil regulators

November 5, 2011

Oil industry representatives voiced their approval of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to fire two state regulators who they said played a role in a slowdown in permitting for new drilling projects. [Bloomberg]

“The governor made the right decision,” said Les Clark, executive vice president of the Independent Oil Producers Agency, to Bloomberg. “If you continue to turn down permits that involve the oil industry, it’s going to take its toll.”

Brown fired Derek Chernow, acting director of the California Department of Conservation, and Elena Miller, oil and gas supervisor at the department’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Bloomberg said. Miller was responsible for balancing environmental concerns with the need to maximize the state’s oil and gas production.

Within a year of Miller taking over in 2009, the number of permits granted for new drilling projects declined 73 percent. At the same time, there was a fourfold increase in applications as energy companies sought to tap the vast potential of the Monterey Shale, which holds more than 15 billion barrels of oil.

Out of 199 applications, the state granted 14 permits as of September of this year compared with 52 applications resulting in 37 permits in 2009, Bloomberg added.



  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Another angle on the “oil” problem:

    WOW! In an interview from 2007, 4-star General, Wesley Clark, said that he was told at the Pentagon that the US government had decided to ‘take down’ seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran. [The motivation, he said, was to control the region’s oil, not to fight terrorism. Everyone in America should watch this interview but, unfortunately, the mainstream media will resist that mightily.] YouTube Posted 2012 Sep 13

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. dhg says:

    Oil is in nearly everything. It will be years, if ever, that oil can be replaced. That is especially true when environmentalist block solar because it may uproot some rodent and block wind because some bird may fly into the blades. It is a good goal to wean off of oil, but the truth of the matter is most of us will not live long enough to see that happen in practice. Apparently Brown understands that. Some of the products oil is used is shown in the following list.

    Common Products Made from Petroleum-based Petrochemicals:
    Approximately 11% of US oil goes into the making of petrochemicals which are used in the production of several common products such as plastics, rubber, and synthetic materials. The following chart provides a random sampling of common products produced from petroleum-based petrochemicals:

    Credit Cards
    Surgical Equipment
    Artificial Limbs
    Medical Equipment
    Nylon Rope
    Tennis Balls
    Tennis Rackets
    Tennis Shoes
    Eyeglass Frames
    Photographic Film
    Food Preservatives
    Piano Keys
    Cough Syrup
    Golf Balls
    Shaving Cream
    Heart Valve Replacements
    Soft Contact Lenses
    Vitamin Capsules

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  3. ds_gray says:

    I keep hearing the same arguments that we ‘need to switch away from fossil fuels’, but what always seems to be overlooked is even IF all vehicles stopped using ‘fossil fuels’ (and the jury is still out as to whether all that oil is really rotted dinosaurs by the way) we would still have a need for oil to produce the very products you all used to post on this blog – PLASTICS. You can’t make plastics with wind or solar – sorry.

    Plastics are EVERYWHERE and to think that our world can just stop using oil and switch to something else is a very limited view. Oil is messy, yes, but it gets used in far more ways than in your gas tank or to power your home. Its a major component in the production of all those battery banks used in your hybrid vehicles, for example. Its used to make the wind turbine blades and housings for wind farms, and its used to make the substrates and lenses for solar panels, just to highlight a few applications of note.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • Cindy says:

      Well what exactly are you saying? I don’t hear any solution from you, I just hear rhetoric. I suspect that the largest amount of our natural fossil fuel is used for vehicles, heating and the like rather than manufacturing. As soon as we replace these use’s with clean, safe, energy we can then begin to deal with the plastics which are also toxic to the environment. Aren’t most plastic’s recyclable anyway?

      (-10) 16 Total Votes - 3 up - 13 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      Of course we can’t at this point eliminate the need for fossil fuels. But if we don’t start to try and work on it then it will never happen. We are are a great country with some very smart kids coming down the line, I’m sure that one day if we put our minds to it that eventually we can be weaned off of fossil fuels but we can’t just shrug our shoulders and say ‘don’t even try, it will never happen, it’s impossible.’ Those smart kids can find a way to get us off of fossil fuels as long as we don’t close the door on them and prevent them from trying.

      (-7) 9 Total Votes - 1 up - 8 down
    • zaphod says:

      You forgot to mention fertilizers , in a way we all eat petroleum.

      (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
      • racket says:

        Yes, the ultimate farming loop:

        Grow corn to make ethanol to make fertilizer to grow corn.

        (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  4. Myself says:

    Nothing moves fast in this state as you can see, the solar plants in Carrisa get stalled every time they turn around by a rat,fox,weed, or what ever, now thye managed to get one to shut down after a number of years, people want so called green power but want it somewhere else I guess. Same thing with the oil exploration we for now need oil to function stopping it with claims of this is a pristine area, same as the “green” solar plants, isn’t going to get us anywhere we need both to make things work on this planet.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  5. r0y says:

    “The governor made the right decision,” said Les Clark, executive vice president of the Independent Oil Producers Agency, to Bloomberg.

    Well, duh! Of course the oil industry will like this and the anti-oil folks will not. That’s a no-brainer.

    Speaking of Gov. Brown, he continues to surprise us all sometimes. I suppose it’s safe to throw a few to the wolves and add a couple permits (14 as of Sep? out of almost 200?!). Something is up with that.

    Reminds me of the swordfish industry (or what’s left of it). If we don’t do it, another country comes in (unregulated) and does it. Well, provided it’s not within our borders.

    (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      I was going to post the same thing, of course the guy form the oil company agrees, (dumb quote).

      Of course as you could guess I don’t want any more oil exploration, drilling or anything to do with oil in California so I would rather that Brown turn a blind eye towards these guys rather than fire them. But one thing about Brown, even if it goes against his beliefs he’s the type of guy that follows the letter of the law and he’s fair, that is why he was such an effective Attorney General.

      (-8) 22 Total Votes - 7 up - 15 down
      • Cindy says:

        I guess I have to agree that Brown surprises me at times. Frankly I wish the state would push for more solar and wind energy and leave the fossil fuel and drilling alone. On the other hand I’ve seen what damage is being caused by the “fracking” they employ to release natural gas deposits and it’s scary as hell to see this irreparable environmental damage being done and if it’s a difference between the gas and the oil, then go for the oil. In the mean time, we aren’t pushing ahead as fast as we should be to bring solar power to the grid in my opinion.

        (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down

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