CalMatters: Battle lines are drawn over oil drilling in California (12/5/19)
Oil is a commodity, and energy companies make decisions based on the price of a barrel of oil, said Rock Zierman, Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent Petroleum Association.
“There’s some interest,” he said of the proposed new lease areas. “But in our business, you are going to invest your dollars where you can get the best return.” The leases are exploratory, so “there’s less certainty.”
Santa Cruz Sentinel: Panetta aims to block federal plan for Central Coast oil drilling (12/5/19)
A trade-association representing much of the California petroleum industry, meanwhile, contends the legislation would lead to increased reliance on foreign oil.
“California’s reliance on imported oil, mostly from the Middle East, has quintupled in two decades,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, in a statement. “This measure would put our state’s energy security in the hands of countries who do not have our environmental or humanitarian interests in mind.”
AFP): Los Angeles: Hollywood, palm trees and urban oil fields (11/30/19)
Skepticism also runs deep among those in the industry when it comes to warnings by environmentalists about the health hazards posed by urban oil drilling and the 2,500-foot setback buffer proposed.
“There’s no scientific evidence that an arbitrary setback would significantly improve the toughest-on-the-planet regulations Los Angeles producers already follow,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association. “An arbitrary setback amounts to a de facto production ban in Los Angeles. “This would mean thousands of workers would lose good-paying careers, the city would lose tax revenues to solve priorities like homelessness, and it would mean more imported oil from countries who do not honor environmental protections or human rights.”
Desert Sun: Environmental group sues EPA (11/21/19)
Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, which includes Sentinel Peak Resources in its membership, called Thursday's lawsuit "frivolous" and contended that it "sets aside" the scientific findings and "discounts public input." "It is a shame that Center for Biological Diversity feels it must counter the sound science of the federal EPA and two separate state agencies who have deemed this aquifer exemption to be appropriate.
The Aquifer Exemption in Arroyo Grande underwent more public hearings than any other exemption in the entire state," he said. "The Arroyo Grande Oil Field will continue to responsibly operate as it has since before CBD filed its first suit on this matter in 2016."
KBAK/KBFX (Bakersfield-TV): Newsom's plan to move away from oil gets split reaction in Kern County (11/21/19)
Willie Rivera of the California Independent Petroleum Association said it might be too soon to tell how Newsom’s plan will impact Kern’s oil industry.
“We’re hoping to get more information. I think we need more information. We need greater clarity, but I think you’ll find the industry is willing to stand by what it does,” Rivera said.
Federal oil lease auctions may soon resume after BLM finds minimal fracking risks in California (11/05/19)
"In California, hydraulic fracturing occurs almost exclusively in mature oil fields in remote parts of western Kern County — nowhere near these federal lands, and that's unlikely to change," Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, said in a written statement.
Natural Gas Intel: California Governor Signs More Legislation to Move State from Fossil Fuels (10/16/19)
Industry sources reacted negatively to the changes, illustrated by California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman, who questioned the timing, given wildfires and other issues facing California.
"If we are consuming oil, it should come from California under California’s strict environmental rules," Zierman told NGI's Shale Daily. "I’m concerned about the tone of the bill signings, which don’t address demand, but will simply replace domestic energy with foreign imports."
Bakersfield Californian: Gavin Newsom reforms oil standards with regulatory changes, appointments (10/15/19)
Oil industry trade groups at once denounced what it saw as the bills' anti-oil tone and noted California's petroleum industrial operates under the world's strictest standards.
Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, said by email he was concerned the bills Newsom signed don't address demand for oil and will simply "replace domestic energy with foreign imports."
"As we are suffering from forced power outages, now is not the time to eliminate high-paying, desperately needed Central Valley jobs and send our wealth to Saudi Arabia instead," he wrote. "If we are consuming oil, it should come from California under California’s strict environmental rules."
Bay Area News Group: With California’s high power rates, will all-electric homes be affordable? (October 7, 2019)
But a big question looms as California cities like San Jose, Berkeley and Menlo Park ban natural gas in new homes in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming: Will residents get socked with higher electricity bills?
The answer likely is yes, at least in the Bay Area, though it involves a host of assumptions about gas and electricity rates, appliance costs and efficiency and regional differences in energy use, igniting a fierce debate among environmental and industry advocates.
According to the American Gas Association, which represents companies that sell natural gas, U.S. households that use it for heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $874 a year compared with homes using electricity.
“Restricting consumer choice and affordability through this ban will make us more dependent on expensive and unreliable energy sources,” said Rock Zierman, chief executive officer of the California Independent Petroleum Association.
Bakersfield Californian: Federal study finds oilfield activity lowered groundwater quality in western Kern (September 25, 2019)
A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey concludes oilfield activity has lowered the quality of groundwater in western Kern County, making it saltier and possibly affecting nearby irrigation sources but not harming drinking water.
Another oil trade group, the California Independent Petroleum Association, was more critical. Its CEO, Rock Zierman, faulted the methodology Gillespie used, saying the report failed to repeat warnings contained in other studies cited in her work.
He said the report did not consider whether other sources contributed to the elevated salinity. He added that it was unclear why the study did not cite extensive data gathered during the oil fields' history.
"Our heavily regulated industry operates responsibly under the toughest environmental protections in the world," Zierman said by email. "We support increased regulations when supported by strong science, but these overly generalized conclusions deserve further study rather than broad conclusions that will only result in unfounded public fear and confusion."
Natural Gas Intel: California's Anti-Fossil Fuel Debate Intensifies and Takes Different Forms (September 23, 2019)
California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman argues that state policies that limit oil/gas production ultimately hurt California residents through higher energy costs and less tax revenues for public programs to serve communities. "It makes sense for the economy and the environment to keep production in California under the toughest regulations on the planet," Zierman told NGI.
"All of the oil currently produced in California is used in California, but it is still not enough to meet our vast energy needs. More than half the oil used in California comes from overseas imports, mainly Saudi Arabia," said Zierman, adding that recent events in the Middle East "shows the negative impact of leaving our state's energy security to geopolitical forces in other countries."
The California Independent Petroleum Association criticized the legislation as ambiguous.
CEO Rock Zierman said California’s lands commission “could determine an extension or renewal is a new lease and deny it on those grounds alone...Eliminating existing facilities increases imported foreign oil, eliminates jobs, reduces state tax revenues, while having no environmental benefits."
California lawmakers challenge Trump’s bid to expand oil drilling and fracking statewide (September 10, 2019)
Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) accused the bill’s supporters of trying to put California’s oil and gas industry out of business, saying the legislation will have an especially harsh impact on the Central Valley.
“This is a blatant attack on the oil industry,” said Grove, whose district is in the heart of California oil country.
Grove and other critics said curtailing oil production in California will only lead to an increase in oil imports from outside areas that don’t have the state’s strict regulations and environmental protections.
The bill would increase the demand for foreign oil, eliminate jobs and will have no environmental benefits, said Sabrina Lockhart, spokeswoman for the California Independent Petroleum Assn., which represents approximately 500 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, royalty owners and other industry-related companies in the state.
While the legislation provides an exemption for existing leases for oil pipelines and other infrastructure that cross state lands, the petroleum association says it is not ironclad. The State Lands Commission has the authority to determine what a new lease is, and could classify a renewal application as a new lease and deny it, Lockhart said.
KQED Radio (San Francisco): Safety, Competition Concerns Raised Over Proposed Sale of Major California Oil Pipeline (June 24, 2019)
CIPA CEO Rock Zierman says his association supports the deal - his association just wants to make sure its members don't lose out.
"It is of significant interest to CIPA members that the transaction results in fair and reasonable rates and competitive conditions of operation for California's petroleum pipelines," Zierman said.
"The goal of the protest is for the CPUC to grant 'party status' to CIPA so that independent producers can ensure their interests are heard during the transaction process," he said.
Natural Gas Intel: California Oil, Gas Setback Proposal Dies in Committee (May 17, 2019)
The Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee voted out the measure on a 7-3 vote but it failed to advance further.
California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman said the legislature’s economic analysis had found the bill would cost the state up to $3.5 billion in lost tax revenue and expose it to significant litigation costs on an annual basis.
"A half-mile setback has no basis in science,” he said. “It’s simply an end run to ban production in California.”
KGO-TV (San Francisco): Trump administration wants to sell oil drilling leases in East Bay (May 10, 2019)
But in a statement Friday, the California Independent Petroleum Association had this response, "Resuming federal lease sales will attract additional capital to California that is currently invested outside the state, creating additional good-paying California jobs that often don't require a college degree."
Ventura County Star: 45-day moratorium on drilling of certain oil wells passes (April 25, 2019)
More than 100 people turned out for the hearing in Ventura. Speakers from petroleum, business and taxpayer groups said the move was unsupported by research and unnecessary.
“We feel the science is sorely lacking,” said Willie Rivera of the California Independent Petroleum Association, a trade group. Several geologists testifying on behalf of the industry said that research shows groundwater supplies are safe in Ventura County.
Natural Gas Intel: California (Again) Considering Oil, Gas Severance Tax (February 14, 2019)
California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman called SB 246 "recycled from more than a dozen failed past attempts" and based on a "myth about tax equity." Ultimately, he said, the proposed tax would be passed on to consumers and hurt working families.
Bakersfield Californian: Central Valley officials join push to end California oil production (August 24, 2018)
Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, added that meeting California’s environmental goals and energy needs requires an “all-of-the-above energy portfolio.” He noted the state’s use of imported oil has quadrupled in the last 20 years.
Bay City News Wire: Oil Group Says Drilling Ban Would Lead To More Imported Oil (August 22, 2018)
The head of a trade association that represents oil and gas producers said today that ending oil and gas drilling in California will result in greater dependence on imported oil.
Rock Zierman, the chief executive of the California Independent Petroleum Association, a Sacramento-based group that represents about 500 independent crude oil and natural gas producers and suppliers, made that allegation after East Bay elected officials held a news conference on the steps of Oakland City Hall to call on Gov. Jerry Brown to phase out oil and gas drilling.
Zierman said, "Stopping oil and natural gas produced in California under arguably the planet's strictest regulations will not help the state achieve its climate goals faster, but result in a greater dependence on imported oil."
He said, "Oil from other countries is produced without these same environmental protections and can drive up energy costs for Californians who can least afford it."
Zierman said, "The state's dependence on imported oil has quadrupled in just two decades. Meeting California's climate goals and complex energy needs for our globally-competitive economy requires an all-of-the-above energy portfolio."
KCBS Radio (San Francisco): Calls Grow Louder For Gov. Brown To End Oil And Gas Drilling (August 22, 2018)
An advocate for the energy industry claimed that ending oil and gas drilling would not help the state achieve its climate goals any faster.
California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman claimed that cutting production inside California would simply lead to increased oil imports from regions with looser environmental protections.
His group represents roughly 500 independent crude oil and natural gas producers and suppliers.
Los Angeles Times: L.A. officials take new aim at Allenco drill site near USC (August 22, 2018)
Rock Zierman, chief executive of the California Independent Petroleum Assn., said in a statement Tuesday that the industry “is already under the toughest regulations in the nation,” but that his group was open to the city joining other government agencies to inspect sites, as long as proposed changes were fully vetted publicly.
At Tuesday’s meeting, others raised concerns about stiffening city rules on the industry. Some environmental and community activists have pressed for new restrictions that would eliminate oil and gas production near L.A. homes and schools. That idea, which was not part of the approved proposal, has alarmed industry and some labor groups.
Driving the petroleum industry away would send it to countries with less oversight, they argued. “Let’s keep the jobs local, the workers and residents safe, and the environment closely monitored, rather than send the industry off to Third World countries,” said Gus Torres, a business representative for United Association Local Union 250, which represents pipe fitters.
Los Angeles Times: State may block further offshore drilling for oil (August 16, 2018)
Bills AB 1775 and SB 834 would prohibit the State Lands Commission, which has jurisdiction over tidelands and waters extending roughly three miles offshore, from granting leases for new pipelines and infrastructure — the most economical way to transport oil and gas to land. The Senate version of the bill goes a step further, banning the commission from renewing an existing lease if that action will result in increased oil or natural gas production from federal waters.
Rock Zierman, chief executive officer of the California Independent Petroleum Assn., called the bills “misguided measures” that “would further threaten our state’s energy security and affordability.”
“California has the nation’s strongest environmental safeguards,” Zierman said, “so it makes sense to meet our energy needs here under these strict standards, instead of relying upon more imported oil that is produced without these protections and impacts the environment when it is transported here by tanker ship or rail car.”
Sacramento Bee: Trump administration moves to open 1.6 million acres to fracking, drilling in California (August 10, 2018)
Ending a five-year moratorium, the Trump administration Wednesday took a first step toward opening 1.6 million acres of California public land to fracking and conventional oil drilling, triggering alarm bells among environmentalists.
Zierman of the California Independent Petroleum Association, whose members include smaller oil companies, said expanded production could reduce the state’s growing dependence on imported oil.
Bakersfield Californian: Arvin council passes oil and gas restrictions; will others follow? (July 19, 2018)
The local industry opposed the Arvin measure, in large part because of the precedent it sets in the heart of California petroleum production, said Bakersfield City Councilman Willie Rivera, a spokesman for the trade group California Independent Petroleum Association.
The concern, he said, is that the ordinance's passage in Arvin could embolden environmental justice activists to push for similar restrictions on oil production elsewhere in Kern County, particularly the oil-rich cities of Shafter and Wasco.
"Every notch in (activists') belt, I think, empowers them to keep biting off more, and that concerns me," Rivera said.
Bakersfield Californian: Arvin one step away from new restrictions on oil and gas operations (July 6, 2018)
Willie Rivera, California Independent Petroleum Association director of regulatory affairs, spoke at Tuesday's city council meeting about members' concerns. The association provided his statement.
"While the proposed amendment under consideration by the city council has improved since its introduction in 2017, CIPA still has concerns over duplicating oversight already provided by local, regional and state agencies as well as creating undue financial burdens on operators," he said.
Long Beach Business Journal: Oil: Increasing Oil Prices Means More Industry Investment (July 2, 2018)
Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, noted that increased production is not always the best indicator of whether or not the oil industry is strong, due to the fact that it is a depleting industry.
New wells sometimes merely replace production lost from older, depleted wells, Zierman explained to the Business Journal. “When folks are spending capital to go out and drill new wells, that’s the most important factor in economic activity, rather than whether or not there is an actual increase in production,” he said.
In California, 100% of oil produced is sent to refineries in the state, according to Zierman. Despite state production, California imports about 70% of its oil to keep up with demand – a small portion from Alaska but the majority from the Middle East, Zierman said.
Over the last three years, there has been much transition in the global oil industry, such as bankruptcies and mergers. However, Zierman said industry players should be more stable as activity and the number of new projects increase. There have also been a number of changes in regulation for the oil industry over the last few years, he explained, including those related to idle wells and injection wells. These regulation changes have increased cost, but Zierman said the industry is comfortable with the process and what is expected of them.
Signal Tribune: SHP VP of Community Relations receives inaugural award (June 29, 2018)
“Debra embodies the entrepreneurial legacy of Emma Summers,” said CIPA Chief Executive Officer Rock Zierman. “She defined community relations for Signal Hill Petroleum at a time when company leaders knew that its growth depended on getting to know their neighbors and becoming the fabric of the community. Debra’s selfless dedication to her family, career, and community makes her the ideal recipient of the inaugural Emma Summers Award.”
Zierman presented the award to Russell at CIPA’s annual membership luncheon.
Los Angeles Times: L.A. needs to be more proactive on checking oil sites, city controller says (June 28, 2018)
"California Independent Petroleum Assn. Chief Executive Rock Zierman said in a written statement that while the industry group supported many of the recommendations, “the report fails to acknowledge the significant changes enacted at the state level that have increased neighborhood air quality monitoring as well as the testing, monitoring, and surety bonds required for idle wells.”
“Raising taxes on oil in the city of Los Angeles will not improve well safety,” Zierman added, pointing out that L.A. voters had rejected such a tax in the past.
Bakersfield Californian: Kern's reliance on oil helps in the near term, may hurt over the long haul (May 31, 2018)
In the current fiscal year, six oil companies landed in the top 10 taxpayers by real estate value. Together they contributed 15 percent of the county's tax property revenues.To be clear, revenue from that source of tax income funds law enforcement, fire protection, the criminal justice system and a variety of social services. Oil production looks pretty good from that perspective.
"The locals definitely share the benefit of Kern County being so rich in energy resources,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the trade group California Independent Petroleum Association.
Bakersfield Californian: State appoints former industry geologist to head local oil regulatory office (May 25, 2018)
A former geologist at Chevron and Exxon Mobil has been appointed to lead the Bakersfield office of California’s primary oil regulation agency. The state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources on Friday announced that Cameron Campbell is being promoted from managing permitting and field engineering for the northern portion of its local district, to becoming deputy for the entire district. The appointment takes effect May 31.
Campbell's appointment won approval from one of the state's leading oil trade groups, the California Independent Petroleum Association. “We appreciate that Mr. Campbell has a background in science gained through experience in both the public and private sectors, which gives him unique insight to how policies translate to real-life operations,” CIPA CEO Rock Zierman wrote in an email.
KBAK/KBFX (TV-Bakersfield): Oil and gas prices soar, but Bakersfield, Calif. oil production declines (April 25, 2018)
In Kern County where oil fuels more than just our cars, but also stimulates our economy, the price of oil and gas is soaring. But oil producers aren’t profiting from the premium prices.
“The fact folks are paying more at the pump right now actually has a whole lot to do with an increase in gas taxes and a whole lot less to do with production or anything happening in the field and unfortunately. That's something we all have to pay for and unfortunately Kern County doesn't get to reap the benefits of that," Willie Rivera, director of regulatory affairs for the California Independent Petroleum Association, said.
Local oil producers say they’re facing tougher permit approvals and regulations from the state, curtailing production dramatically.
CalMatters: Rock Zierman Letter to the Editor (March 13, 2018)
A recent story, As California oil regulator seeks more money, legislators ask “Is this working?” (February 28, 2018), included significant factual errors and omissions about the highly regulated process of oil and natural gas production.
Most notably, the reporter claimed that produced water from oil and natural gas production is being injected into “drinking water supplies.” This is patently false. None of the zones currently permitted or being reviewed by the US EPA for injection contain water suitable for drinking or irrigation. Instead, regulatory agencies permit produced water injection into hydrocarbon formations or other approved zones that are not used to supply public drinking water systems. The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), the State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Environmental Protection Agency and water utilities have investigated this often-repeated claim of activists and found no evidence that produced water has impacted municipal drinking water quality in California.
KPCC Public Radio: LA County isn’t doing enough to protect people living near oil wells, study says (February 27, 2018)
But Sabrina Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the California Independent Petroleum Association, said decreasing oil production in Los Angeles County would result in more oil being imported from places with less strict environmental regulations than California. She said companies are already going to undergo increased monitoring as part of a new statewide California Air Resources Board program to study air quality in polluted neighborhoods. Lockhart said it made sense to analyze that data before enacting any additional countywide regulations.
Los Angeles Times: South L.A. commission backs stiff new rules for oil site near USC (January 17, 2018)
A South Los Angeles commission upheld city demands Tuesday night to stiffen rules for an oil production site that sits next to homes, overriding objections from the company that runs the Jefferson Boulevard facility.
Oil industry groups such as the California Independent Petroleum Assn. have argued that such restrictions would eliminate jobs, cut tax revenue and ultimately make the country more reliant on energy from other nations with scant environmental protections.
KCBX (Central Coast Public Radio): Two offshore lease sales for oil and gas development planned for Central Coast (January 5, 2018)
The Trump Administration has announced a plan to open up California waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling. Intending to replace a current plan in place through 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior said it will release a new draft proposal for offshore lease sales starting in 2019.
California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman, in an emailed statement, said, “increasing our nation’s energy independence benefits consumers and the economy as whole. Where there is currently no offshore production, such as Northern California, there is no interest, to my knowledge, to pursue new offshore leases. If, however, new resources could be produced using existing infrastructure, meaning no new offshore platforms, we should explore it if it makes sense.”