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Members of the media may contact Sabrina Lockhart at sabrina@cipa.org for any press inquiries.


Bakersfield Californian: LOIS HENRY | Oil-field injection well brouhaha deflates (January 23, 2017)

If exemptions for those aquifers are removed, it could have a serious effect on some, mostly smaller, producers, according to Rock Zierman, spokesman for the California Independent Petroleum Association.

Even if the exemptions are eventually granted, restarting after being shut down Feb. 15 won’t be a simple matter.

Each injection well takes water from a dozen or more oil wells. Without a way to dispose of water, those oil wells would have to shut down, too. And each of those oil wells is produced differently, from steam to water flooding, which is difficult to stop and start.

“It’s not as easy as turning a spigot,” Zierman said.


Natural Gas Intel: California Orders 475 Oilfield Wastewater Wells Closed (January 20, 2017)

In their submittal to the regional U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office, the two state officials said that if EPA ultimately rejects the state's proposed exemptions, their agencies would take "immediate action" to halt UICs in the affected wells.

Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, said "there are still several duly permitted operations that will be shut down through no fault of their own, but rather because of delays by regulators." He expressed appreciation for state efforts cutting delays.

“We appreciate the state taking steps to ensure that paperwork delays do not create the unintended consequence of threatening the majority of California’s energy supply, especially given there is no evidence of environmental harm from this permitted production, which has occurred safely for more than 30 years," Zierman said.


San Francisco Chronicle: Hundreds of wells dumping oilfield wastewater to close (January 18, 2017)

The vast majority of the wells lie in the southern San Joaquin Valley, the heart of the state’s oil industry. So far, there is no evidence that the injections tainted any water supplies used for drinking or irrigation.

“We appreciate the state taking steps to ensure that paperwork delays do not create the unintended consequence of threatening the majority of California’s energy supply, especially given there is no evidence of environmental harm from this permitted production which has occurred safely for more than 30 years,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, in an email.


The Wave Newspaper: Oil industry counter suit wasn’t meant as retaliation (January 13, 2017)

 The leader of the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) said a cross-complaint filed against youth groups and local South L.A. and Wilmington organizations is not retaliatory.

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While the suit was pending, the city’s Planning Department adopted new procedures for oil drilling applications they said were designed to ensure compliance with state environmental review mandates and to protect the health and safety of communities of color impacted by neighborhood drilling.

In light of the new procedures, which addressed most of their allegations, the plaintiffs settled their suit with the city and the case was dismissed last Sept. 28.

In its cross-complaint, CIPA stated that it objected to the settlement agreement and that any settlement agreement between the petitioners and the city would violate CIPA’s due process right under the California Constitution to have a decision on the merits of the litigation and would be unenforceable as to CIPA, thereby rendering any settlement meaningless.

“Our complaint is that [the settlement] was not consistent with what the judge had ordered,” Zierman said. “In a hearing on Dec. 23, the judge stated that he has been very disturbed about how the city and the environmentalists have been colluding together, and he fears that that was the goal all along.”

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“We’re being subjected to a new oil and gas ordinance that did not go through a proper public process,” Zierman said. “Even more disturbing is part of a settlement that we were directed by the court to be a part of but were excluded.”


San Diego Daily Transcript: Extremists Deny Science, Threaten Energy Security (January 5, 2017)

By P. Anthony Thomas, Executive Director of the California Natural Gas Producers Association, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to representing the interests of independent natural gas producers operating in California.  CNGPA members account for 90% of California's natural gas production.

A recent Appeals Court ruling has ended a nearly two year legal fight blocking a safe and affordable energy supply for San Diegans. In December, the 1st District Court of Appeals allowed a Public Utilities Commission decision to stand, permitting the construction of a $2 billion dollar power plant that will generate electricity using natural gas.

Activists filed a lawsuit claiming environmental concerns, but if they were truly environmentalists they would support the power plant considering that natural gas has helped pave the way for the United States to be the global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Frivolous lawsuits are just another tactic that the “Keep it in the Ground” anti-fossil fuels movement uses to threaten our nation’s energy security.  In a move that defies logic, these so-called “environmentalists” would prefer to see less energy produced domestically under the world’s toughest standards and instead force the U.S. to rely even more on imported energy from countries who follow little to no environmental protections. 


San Diego Union Tribune: Governor, Coastal Commission urge Obama to block new offshore oil and gas leases in California (December 21, 2016)

In a separate development, outgoing California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the Coastal Commission on Monday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, looking to overturn an assessment the agency made regarding hydraulic fracturing.

The Department of the Interior has not commented on the suit.

“This lawsuit is yet another deletory tactic that clearly panders to the anti-fossil fuel ‘keep it in the ground’ movement and ignores the federal government’s environmental assessment,” said National Ocean Industries Association spokeswoman Nicolette Nye.

Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, said the attorney general’s lawsuit “runs counter to her own rejection of a ban on hydraulic fracturing filed by activists two years ago.”


Press Telegram: What’s that smell? Residents in Seal Beach, Huntington Beach want answers (December 17, 2016)

Periodically and unpredictably, mysterious chemical-like fumes drift into Rhonda Wainwright’s home not far from Huntington Beach’s Central Park.

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Rock Zierman, CEO of the trade group California Independent Petroleum Association, said oil and gas operators must comply with more than two dozen air quality regulations in Southern California alone.

“These safeguards are in place so that regulators and operators can pinpoint if there is a problem, as well as rule out facilities in cases, like this, where it appears to be naturally occurring causes,” Zierman said in a statement.


E&E News: Trump seeks more oil drilling; in Calif., that's not so easy (December 8, 2016)

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Drilling both offshore and on federal land requires crafting a detailed plan and surviving environmental reviews. And in the Golden State, there's a major political hurdle. California has fought fiercely against attempts to increase offshore drilling, with Democrats and Republican lawmakers uniting on the issue.

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Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, or CIPA, said in an email that "we have major production currently on [Bureau of Land Management] onshore land and that can certainly increase." He said companies would be interested if leases became available.

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Zierman with CIPA said that in terms of offshore drilling, "new platforms are very unlikely." But oil companies can drill directionally from one of the existing platforms to an adjacent lease. That's a way of getting a new lease and tapping new resources without installing a new platform, he said.

 


AM 1440/1290 Central Coast Radio: The Andy Caldwell Show (October 17, 2016)

CIPA Chairman and President of E&B Natural Resources, Steve Layton, discusses efforts to stop local oil production and a successful summer internship program that exposes students from across the educational spectrum to quality careers in energy.


Los Angeles Business Journal: Oil Companies Seek to Hold Ground on Drilling (October 17, 2016)

A trade group representing small local oil producers is upset over changes to the city of L.A.’s drilling permit regulations and wants those changes rolled back.

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CIPA Chief Executive Rock Zierman said the zoning administrator’s memorandum goes against state law in creating a special environmental review category for oil drilling operations.

“Every development and business interest in the city that is impacted by (the California Environmental Quality Act) should be alarmed at this maneuver, as it sets a very dangerous precedent, and (is) an exertion of power beyond the city’s authority,” Zierman said in an email.

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“CIPA believes that once the truth comes out, the court will invalidate the new regulations and preclude them from being implemented against stakeholders in the city,” he said.


Natural Gas Intelligence: California Judge Rejects Enviro Groups' Challenge to Injection Wells (September 27, 2016)

A California Superior Court judge in Alameda County recently upheld the state's ongoing program for underground injection control (UIC) wells, which has come under criticism the past two years.

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California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman hailed the court's decision, saying it upholds the viability of protecting the environment while still developing oil/natural gas sources.

"Unbiased, independent scientific reviews have proven that responsible oil production can coexist with environmental protection," Zierman said. "Science and the courts have consistently sided with the facts, rather than the hyperbole of activists.”


KPCC/ Southern California Public Radio: LA's new oil and gas watchdog has industry and environmental background (September 20, 2016)

The first person in decades to hold the title of Los Angeles city petroleum administrator comes from the oil and gas industry but has a streak of environmentalism and democratic politics on his resume as well.

Uduak-Joe Ntuk started his career in petroleum engineering at Chevron and has worked in recent years at Long Beach city's Gas and Oil Department, an agency some local activists have issues with.

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The California Independent Petroleum Association, which represents many of the companies whose oil and gas wells dot Los Angeles, wrote the mayor asking that he appoint someone who had a technical background. It wanted a person who would understand how changes in city policies could affect those who work in the local petroleum industry and earn royalties from oil and gas wells. In a letter, CIPA CEO Rock Zierman said the mayor should appoint a person who would recognize inaccurate information about local petroleum operations coming from industry critics.


Los Angeles Times: L.A. taps Long Beach engineer as petroleum czar (September 19, 2016)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that he was tapping a Long Beach petroleum engineer to oversee oil and gas operations in the city, filling a job that had not been held full time for decades.

Garcetti and his staff praised Uduak-Joe Ntuk, newly chosen as petroleum administrator, as an expert with technical knowledge who could also engage with the community.

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Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Assn., said the industry group was “pleased that the city hired an administrator with technical expertise.” The group had earlier encouraged L.A. to hire “a qualified technical professional with experience in oil and gas production.” 


KBAK (CBS-Bakersfield) Kern County's oil industry layoffs: 'Worst of it is over' (August 11, 2016)

Click here to watch video of interview with CIPA Director of Regulatory Affairs, Willie Rivera

The staggering drop in oil prices has forced layoffs for thousands of the industry's workers in Kern County.

According to the Western States Petroleum Association, 78,040 Central Valley residents are employed in petroleum-related positions.

Eyewitness News reporter Hanna Battah examines the economic status of the oil industry.


EFE News Service: Oil still contributes to Los Angeles, 19th in world economy  (August 8, 2016)

Originally published in Spanish: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/espanol/2016/08/08/el-petroleo-todavia-contribuye-que-los-angeles-sea-la-1-economia-mundial/

In addition to being the mecca of film and entertainment, Los Angeles County, the world’s 19th largest economy still has oil wealth, recorded in its more than 5,000 active oil wells.

In the 1930s, the county of Los Angeles was the main focus of world oil production. This dominant position was lost long ago, but still producing wells, some in the middle of the city and a few meters from homes and businesses, as a reminder of the glorious times.

"Oil helped shape Los Angeles into the major metropolitan area it is today. It provided wealth for investors to expand development into the area and it helped boost the use of cars as a convenient and affordable means of transportation," Sabrina Lockhart, communications director of the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) told EFE.


Bakersfield Californian: Letter to the editor: Oil, biodiesel not mutually exclusive (July 14, 2016)

By Rock Zierman

A one-size fits all approach to energy simply doesn’t make sense for California’s large economy. That’s precisely why oil and gas producers have embraced an “all of the above” strategy to meet California’s energy needs.

A disheartening July 5 commentary by Anne Steckel of the National Biodiesel Board took aim at our industry, which has provided an affordable, reliable energy source which is produced with strict environmental protections. The biodiesel board’s own website acknowledges that biodiesel isn’t an alternative to regular diesel but is found “in blends of up to 5 percent or 20 percent” of regular diesel. In other words, no petroleum-based diesel, no biodiesel. Biodiesel alone simply cannot provide the more than one billion gallons of gasoline and diesel every month that California’s oil industry currently provides.

Despite California-only regulations that drive up production costs, our industry continues to help our state move people and goods without receiving the same government subsidies that other industries, like biodiesel, enjoy. Our industry has also helped shift the country’s energy mix to lower carbon sources. The rise of natural gas in electricity generation has made the U.S. a global leader in greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Stopping in-state production will only make us more reliant on others with fewer environmental protections.

Advances in oil field technology have allowed the U.S. to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia in oil and gas reserves. At the very same time, alternative fuels have advanced. The two are not mutually exclusive, despite the rhetoric from the National Biodiesel Council.


Desert Sun: Letter to the Editor by Rock Zierman (July 10, 2016)

Anti-oil activists grossly distort the truth about a new study of deep groundwater reserves in California.

This water, which the article itself admits, was previously discovered by oil and gas producers and is certainly not “new.”

These oil-bearing aquifers produce, as a byproduct, about 15 barrels of water for every barrel of oil. It is brackish, highly salty and may also contain naturally occurring contaminants such as boron, benzene, and arsenic.

Managing this water is highly regulated. Producers must receive state, regional and federal approvals to ensure that there is no harm to potential sources of drinking water.

Most of the water is recycled to further production while some is treated, tested and blended with other sources for crop irrigation. Just a fraction of water is reinjected, almost exclusively into the very oil aquifers it originated.

Instead of promoting policies to beneficially use this water source, activists are actively twisting the facts in an admitted attempt to stop all domestic oil production. This misguided goal would only make our nation more dependent on foreign oil produced with little to no environmental protection.

Rock Zierman, CEO, California Independent Petroleum Association


Orange County Register: Why do environmentalists want to import more oil?  Op-Ed by Rock Zierman (July 7, 2016)

Anti-oil activists call themselves environmentalists, but if that were actually true, they wouldn’t be on their current crusade to replace domestic oil and gas producers with oil imported from foreign countries. The reality is that if these activists were successful in their quest to end all of California’s in-state oil production, it would cause severe harm to our state’s environment.

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By maligning energy producers, anti-oil activists are attempting to scare the public into opening their wallets to fund their irrational campaigns to stop all domestic oil production. The sad reality is that this jeopardizes the hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs the oil and gas industry supports, as well as the billions of dollars of tax revenue that producers and their employees pay to government coffers.

Let’s be clear on the impacts of what anti-oil activists are advocating: more environmental harm, less tax revenue for vital services and people out of work.

Real environmentalists are more realistic, relying on science and understanding that by producing locally under stringent standards, California can protect its energy independence and continue to be the global leader in responsible oil production.


Washington Post: California may have a huge groundwater reserve that nobody knew about (June 27, 2016)

In a surprising new study, Stanford researchers have found that drought-ravaged California is sitting on top of a vast and previously unrecognized water resource, in the form of deep groundwater, residing at depths between 1,000 and nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of the state’s always thirsty Central Valley.

The resource amounts to 2,700 billion tons of freshwater, mostly less than about 3,250 feet deep, according to the paper published Monday in the influential Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And there is even more fresh or moderately salty water at more extreme depths than this that could potentially be retrieved and desalinized someday for drinking water, or for use in agriculture.

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In a statement, Sabrina Lockhart, communications director for the California Independent Petroleum Association, countered that “It is not accurate to say that underground injection is not regulated.” Lockhart noted that wastewater injection wells require permits and state and EPA permission for siting, saying these regulators “have strict criteria that ensures that there is no harm to potential sources of drinking water.”


KGET-TV (NBC Bakersfield): July 4th Celebration Returns to Park at River Walk (June 10, 2016)

The annual Fourth of July community celebration at the Park at Riverwalk returns for the holiday. 

City officials say it will include a free fireworks show and live entertainment at the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre.

Organizers say the event is made possible by the contributions of generous sponsors, including Sunshine Metal Clad, KSI Industries, Cal Water, Nissan of Bakersfield and Haddad Dodge, So Cal Gas, PG&E, Kern Refuse, Tejon Ranch, E&B Natural Resources, and the California Independent Petroleum Association.


Los Angeles Times: Community group petitions city to enclose South L.A. drilling site (June 10, 2016)

Petroleum industry groups also have been dubious of activists pushing for new city restrictions at the Jefferson site, arguing that facilities like it already face rigorous regulations spanning from the local to the federal level.

“This is just another legal maneuver by groups who want to stop all energy production, which would only make our state more reliant on imported oil produced with little or no environmental protection,” California Independent Petroleum Assn. President Rock Zierman said in reaction to the petition.


San Diego Union Tribune: Oil reaches $50 again (May 26, 2016)

Oil prices were at $100 a barrel in June 2014 but a slow decline in prices quickly turned into a rout in late November 2014 after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, surprised global analysts by, instead of cutting production to keep prices high, keeping production levels up.

Though OPEC's dominant member, Saudi Arabia denied it, the move was widely considered an attempt to blunt the booming shale oil industry in the United States and Canada.

“The market slump has stretched for a year and half," said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association. "Several months of stable prices at this level would give producers the assurance to invest in more domestic production, which will help restore jobs and generate more tax revenue.”


Bakersfield Californian: ENERGY PRODUCERS AWARD $5,000 (May 26, 2016)

Local energy producers awarded $5,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors at Bakersfield’s Independence High School this month.

The Kern Energy Foundation doled the cash out to 13 seniors, with the top senior receiving $1,000. Instructors also received money to purchase science kits that high school students use when visiting elementary schools to educate younger students about the importance of energy, California Independent Petroleum Association officials said.

Baylei Brown, who holds a 4.2 grade point average and is active as a mentor through Link Crew and serves as treasurer of the Black Student Union, earned the top scholarship.

“The Independence High School Energy Academy has opened up my mind to the world of energy resources and engineering,” Brown said. “I have learned a number of new skills that I plan on using in my life after I graduate.”


KGET-TV (Bakersfield): Energy producers award scholarships to high school seniors  (May 24, 2016)

Some seniors from Independence High School's energy academy will receive a financial boost to their education after graduation.  

The Kern Energy Foundation awarded $5,000 in scholarships to thirteen deserving graduating seniors, according to a news release. The top prize was $1,000 and instructors were also awarded funding to purchase science kits which high school students use when they visit local elementary schools to educate younger students about the importance of energy.

Proceeds for the scholarships were raised through the Kern Energy Festival, an event held last year to educate the community about all aspects of local energy production. Nearly two dozen students from the Independence High School Energy Academy volunteered to work at the Kern Energy Festival. The California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) served as the premier sponsor to provide seed money for the successful event.  The festival was organized by CIPA Board Member Chad Hathaway and the Kern Energy Foundation Board and Committee.

Hathaway, who served on the scholarship selection committee, said, “The caliber of students who applied for the scholarships was outstanding, which also made the selection process difficult for our committee. There’s no doubt that Kern County has a bright energy future thanks to these students.  We hope that these scholarships will help encourage students to come back home to Kern County to pursue their energy careers after they complete their studies so that we can continue to be California’s top energy producer.”


San Diego Union Tribune: EPA issues methane rule (May 13, 2016)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a new ruling Thursday cracking down on methane emissions from oil and natural gas wells, but it's unclear how much it will affect California.

"The key will be how the federal rules come into play with California’s already strict regulations for air emissions, not only at the state level, but the local level as well," said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association.

But the oil and gas industry criticized the rule's costs and said producers already work to plug leaks because methane is the primary ingredient in natural gas and, therefore, escaped methane leaves them with less gas to sell.

"Producers (have) an economic incentive to reduce methane emissions on their own since it results in more efficient resource recovery," Zierman of the petroleum association said in a statement.

Industry points to EPA's own numbers showing natural gas sector emissions falling 14.8 percent between 1990 and 2014.

"Natural gas has paved the way for the U.S to be the global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Zierman said.


Capitol Weekly: Making the Case for Fracking, Op-Ed by CIPA CEO Rock Zierman (May 3, 2016)

What do comedian Stephen Colbert, the Washington Post editorial board and Gov.  Jerry Brown have in common? They recognize the necessity of hydraulic fracturing.

In an interview on The Late Show with Colbert last November to promote his award-winning movie, Spotlight, actor and anti-fracking activist Mark Ruffalo scoffed, “What the hell. Who thought of fracking?” Without missing a beat, Colbert replied, “People who need oil. They’re called Americans.”

More than unrealistic, a fracking ban would be counterproductive to our economic, security and environmental interests.

What Americans need is affordable energy. In California, oil and natural gas are produced under the strictest environmental regulations in the country. And 100% of the oil produced in California, stays in California.  Conversely, even if domestic oil production were banned as the activists want, California would simply tanker in more oil, primarily from the Middle East.  This has grave environmental, economic, and social consequences.


San Diego Union Tribune: The big rig reduction in California (April 22, 2016)

At least 2,500 oil workers in Kern County, the state's oil and gas hub, have lost their jobs since December 2014.

“I think companies are trying to adjust to this environment because that’s the only known — what the price is today,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association. “They are making investments to optimize current production but it just doesn’t justify large capital expenditures for future production.”


San Luis Obispo Tribune: Facts should win out over fearmongering, Op-Ed by CIPA CEO Rock Zierman (April 1, 2016)

To date, regulators have found no evidence of contamination as a result of produced water reinjection at these fields. Despite these facts, the CBD is trying to slow down the boundary review process through alarmist missives, such as the recent Viewpoint.

While the CBD argues against water reinjection, it ignores what, in reality, is the most environmentally favorable way to treat oil field fluid flows. Without reinjection into existing oil reservoirs, California oil production would come to a halt, making our state significantly more reliant on foreign imports from countries that don’t have the extensive environmental regulations in place for oil production that we do. 

This paradox unlocks the true motives of anti-oil activists who believe the only responsible oil production is no oil production. Environmental extremists such as the CBD argue that the state and federal government should ignore the latest geologic information in the hope that adhering to outdated boundaries will eventually help end oil production in the state. 


Bakersfield Californian: Environmentalists ask EPA to reexamine permitting of oil wastewater injection (March 25, 2016)

ANTI-OIL ACTIVISTS’ ’TRUE MOTIVES’

California’s oil industry sees the proposed exemption process changes as unnecessary. It notes the wastewater is typically reinjected into the same underground formation where it originated, and that any such water is undrinkable by virtue of its having been naturally commingled with oil.

Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association trade group, said wastewater injections are also the most environmentally favorable way of disposing of produced water.

“Without reinjecting produced water, California oil production would halt, making our state significantly more reliant on foreign imports from countries that don’t have the extensive environmental regulations in place for oil production that we do,” Zierman said by email.

“This paradox unlocks the true motives of anti-oil activists who believe the only responsible oil production is no oil production,” he added.


Bakersfield Californian: Assessors agree to tax California oil property based on expectations of $41 per barrel in 2016 (March 17, 2016)

Reflecting on the assessor group’s price predictions, the CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association trade group, Rock Zierman, said the price estimates reflect the tough market conditions oil companies face.

“It is also a reminder of the economic value of a robust oil and gas industry since producers pay significant tax revenue for government to provide critical services to residents in need," Zierman said in a written statement.


San Diego Union-Tribune: Can the U.S. really go frack-free? (March 19, 2016)

In less than 10 years, hydraulic fracturing – along with the technology of horizontal drilling – has dramatically increased oil and gas production, making the United States an energy power that has rivaled, and by some measures surpassed, countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia.

A ban on fracking “would be great for the Middle East and terrible for the U.S.," said Sabrina Demayo Lockhart, communications director for the California Independent Petroleum Association. "Hydraulic fracturing has given the U.S. an affordable, reliable energy resource."


Rigzone: Water Treatment Benefits California Oil & Gas Operations (March 17, 2016)

California’s ongoing drought and greater scrutiny of the state’s 50,000 disposal wells – into which regulators had mistakenly allowed companies to inject wastewater near underground aquifers – brought conservation efforts to the forefront of conversation in the state. A spokesperson for the California Independent Petroleum Association told Rigzone that state officials tested the aquifers in question and found no evidence of contamination.