Members of the media may contact Sabrina Lockhart at for any press inquiries.

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."

Natural Gas Intelligence: California Lawmakers Counter Trump Administration's Potential State Lands Oil, Gas Expansion (September 12, 2019)

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.”

Natural Gas Intel: California’s 'Dirty Oil' Said as Environmentally Damaging as Canada Oilsands (November 15, 2017)

The head of the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) challenged the CBD report too, noting that California producers adhere to some of the most stringent regulations in the nation, "if not the planet." CIPA CEO Rock Zierman said "every barrel that isn't produced here under these strict environmental protections means more oil imported from other countries who do not follow these same regulations."

Zierman said the numbers in the CBD report do not match what the California Air Resources Board (CARB) now knows about actual emissions from in-state production and doesn't take into account that importing more oil by ships, trucks and rail presents environmental impacts.

"It is not a surprise that an activist group with a mission to end all oil production would repackage misleading information to support its false narrative," Zierman said. "The study is based on an old and outdated academic model” which he said was developed before California producers began to report their greenhouse gas emissions. It also was based on information “before the state enacted the cap-and-trade program, the low-carbon fuel standard, the methane emissions rule, the 50% renewable standard, and a host of other initiatives."

Natural Gas Intel: California Passes Bundle of Energy Bills, But Climate Change Agenda Stalls (September 15, 2017)

As the legislative session wound to an end on Friday, California legislators in the past few days have passed a litany of bills regarding energy storage, wastewater handling and abandoned oil and natural gas wells.


The legislature also passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1328 to allow the state and regional water quality control boards, while investigating an oilfield discharge, to demand from operators information on chemicals in the wastewater. Water agencies also could require chemical suppliers to provide information. The wastewater bill, backed by the oil and gas industry, is not expected to significantly alter operations.

California oil and gas producers already are required to report chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing, but the state does not track chemical use in other extraction methods. Many of the same chemicals that are used in fracturing are also used in other activities, a bill analysis noted.

California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) chief Rock Zierman said if an oil operation produces water discharge, drillers are required to get permits and disclose the chemicals.

Natural Gas Intelligence: Petro River Touts Oil Discovery in California's Kern County (July 20, 2017)

The California Independent Producers Association CEO Rock Zierman said the successful well is “a prime example of how a stable energy market can help provide the capital to use technology to find new domestic resources. Increased production in the state is a win for the environment and the economy. The more oil we produce here under the nation’s toughest regulations also results in more affordable energy for consumers, more quality jobs and more tax revenue to fund vital services.”

Santa Maria Sun: Two Cuyama High School graduates land energy internships (July 20, 2017)

Cuyama graduates Jazmin Ojedas and Karen Mancilla were selected to participate in this year’s summer internship program provided by energy producers. Ojedas will be interning with E&B Natural Resources while Mancilla will spend her internship with Macpherson Oil Company.

E&B Natural Resources, California Resources Corporation, and Macpherson Oil Company collaborated with the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) and several school districts to give graduating seniors an opportunity to have hands-on experience in a petroleum industry career.

San Francisco Chronicle: Trump moves to open more public land to drilling in California (July 6, 2017)

The Trump administration forged ahead with its commitment to boosting domestic fossil fuel production Thursday, directing more public lands to be opened for oil and gas extraction — a move that could bring new drill rigs to California.


Still, the oil industry has long complained that too much acreage is off-limits — 10 percent of the state’s production is on federal land — and that environmental regulations governing drilling are unnecessarily cumbersome.

 “This executive order is a positive first step, but production on federal lands is a complicated process with oversight roles by a number of state and federal regulatory agencies,” said Rock Zierman, chief executive officer of the California Independent Petroleum Association.

Southern California Public Radio: LA to study costs, health benefits of phasing out oil drilling (June 30, 2017)

The City of Los Angeles is moving ahead with a study of the public health benefits and economic consequences of phasing out oil and gas development around homes, schools, hospitals, and other public places.


Following Friday’s vote, the city’s Petroleum Administrator and LA County Department of Public Health have 120 days to report back.

While the oil industry does not oppose the study, Sabrina Lockhart, a spokeswoman with the California Independent Petroleum Association, said phasing out oil in LA is shortsighted.

“The less oil we produce here under the strictest standards in the nation means we have to obtain the rest of our energy from imports that don’t follow the same environmental protections that we have here,” Lockhart told KPCC in April.

Southern California Public Radio: Weighing the environmental impact of new offshore oil and gas drilling in California (May 1, 2017)


Rock Zierman, CEO of California Independent Petroleum Association, is a guest on Southern California Public Radio's "Air Talk" show with Larry Mantle.  Zierman discusses how studying the resources offshore could result in increased production from existing facilities and that oil produced in California under the world's toughest standards is an environmentally strong way to meet the state's energy needs.

San Diego Union Tribune: Why Trump's order on offshore drilling may not have much impact in California (April 28, 2017)

The California Independent Petroleum Association released a statement on the executive order Friday afternoon.

“Studying offshore energy development will give policymakers and producers stronger data about the vast potential of domestic resources available in California,” the organization’s CEO, Rock Zierman, said. “It’s possible that these resources could be developed with existing infrastructure or from onshore facilities without the need for any new offshore platforms. That has the added benefit of decreasing our reliance on imported foreign oil, which is produced without the same strict environmental protections that we have in California.”

Los Angeles Business Journal: Measure to Study the Shutdown of Oil Wells Near Homes and Schools Introduced to L.A. Council (April 20, 2017)

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday introduced a motion calling for a study of the feasibility of enacting a half-mile buffer zone around all oil drilling operations in the city, a move that could ultimately lead to the shutdown of hundreds of wells.


Rock Zierman, chief executive of the California Independent Petroleum Association, said the city needs to tread very carefully.

“If the Council proceeds with this study, it needs to take into account the economic impact of banning local energy jobs, the loss of state and local taxes, the legal exposure the city will face from an illegal taking of private property, as well as the increased dependence on imported foreign oil tankered into LA’s ports,” Zierman said.

KPCC Public Radio: LA to study banning oil production around homes, schools, hospitals and other public places (April 20, 2017)

The city of Los Angeles is considering taking its boldest step yet towards restricting oil and gas development. On Wednesday, city council president Herb Wesson introduced a motion calling for a study of what it would take to shut down all oil and gas wells near homes, schools, hospitals, parks and other public places.

The city could also be on shaky legal ground for illegally taking private property, said Sabrina Lockhart with the California Independent Petroleum Association, which represents small oil producers. In addition, Lockhart said reducing oil production in LA would likely mean increasing imports from elsewhere.

“The less oil we produce here under the strictest standards in the nation means we have to obtain the rest of our energy from imports that don’t follow the same environmental protections that we have here,” she said.

KABC Radio: City Council Moves Towards Banning Oil Drilling Near L.A. Residents (April 20, 2017)

The council is forwarding the motion to ban drilling near residential facilities, to a committee citing health concerns.

However, the California Independent Petroleum Association says oil companies already follow strict standards and a ban could result in legal action.

City News Service: Oilers rap LA anti-drilling plan: Lawsuit likely over lost jobs (April 19, 2017)

(Also published by Fox News LA

A proposal to eliminate oil drilling in Los Angeles near homes, schools and other facilities would hurt local jobs, reduce tax revenue and likely result in legal action, the CEO of an association representing 500 independent oil and natural gas producers said Tuesday.

Council President Herb Wesson plans to introduce a motion at Wednesday’s meeting calling for a study on the limitations, which would also include parks, churches and health-care facilities.

“If the council proceeds with this study, it needs to take into account the economic impact of banning local energy jobs, the loss of state and local taxes, the legal exposure the city will face from an illegal taking of private property, as well as the increased dependence on imported foreign oil tankered into L.A.’s ports,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association.

La Opinión: Members of environmental organizations will ask the council for tougher regulations for oil companies (April 19, 2017)

Representatives of the oil companies said that environmental studies have already been carried out and all have come out not harmful to residents living near the places where the oil is extracted.

"Production within the Los Angeles basin must follow the strictest standards of the nation, if not the world. This not only includes city regulation, but also county, regional air quality management, as well as state and federal regulators, "said Sabrina Demayo Lockhart, director of communications with the California Independent Oil Association Represents Sentinel Park Resources.

"A 2012 study of a Los Angeles oil field closely examined 14 environmental risk factors associated with oil production and concluded that there were no adverse impacts to any," added Demayo Lockhart.

Los Angeles Daily Journal: Oil producers suing city and environmental groups (April 11, 2017)

California Independent Petroleum Association, which was allowed intervenor status in the lawsuit by Green last summer, alleged in its cross-complaint that the city and the nonprofits locked oil producers out of settlement negotations, which resulted in a series of closed-door meetings to institute new regulations. The oil producers alleged those new rules hiked the fee for drilling permit applications from $90,000 to as much as $157,000. As a result, the group said its due process rights have been violated and is seeking to block enforcement of the regulations.

E&E News: Calif. approves strict leak-detection rule (March 24, 2017)

Oil and gas sites in California must check for methane leaks and act to prevent them under a rule approved yesterday, a measure called the toughest in the nation.


Rock Zierman, CEO of the trade group California Independent Petroleum Association, said the regulation adds to rules its operators must follow, including mandates such as the state's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.

"Policymaking should not happen in a vacuum, and the impact of these far-reaching policies should be considered as a whole rather than piecemeal," he said.

San Francisco Chronicle: California passes nation’s toughest methane emission regulations (March 24, 2017)


California air quality officials have approved what are widely considered to be the most rigorous and comprehensive regulations in the country for controlling methane emissions, a move that helps cement the state’s status as a standard-bearer for environmental protection.


The standards, which experts said mark the first major piece of environmental regulation passed by any state since the turnover of power in Washington, were hailed as a triumph by environmental activists, but criticized as cumbersome, costly and ultimately unnecessary by oil and gas producers.

“Our industry is not the top emitter of methane in the state, yet this rule will add to the nation’s toughest regulations that our operators must follow, such as cap and trade,” Rock Zierman, the chief executive officer of industry trade group the California Independent Petroleum Association, said in a statement. “We hope that regulators will provide ample time for implementation and ensure that the program is fairly and consistently enforced across the state.”


Michael Mills, an attorney at the law firm Stoel Rives in Sacramento who represents the oil and gas industry, said the costs associated with complying with the new regulations will be particularly painful for smaller petroleum companies.

“In California, there are a lot of small, mom-and-pop operators that regulations like this put a tremendous strain on,” Mills said. “It’s very, very expensive, to the point where they might not be able to continue.”

Daily Journal: Oil industry wins injunction stopping injection regulation (March 23, 2017)

The oil industry got a major victory for well injection techniques when a Kern County Superior Court judge blocked a state regulation that was scheduled to take effect and impose large fines on producers.

The plaintiffs, Western States Petroleum Association and California Independent Petroleum Association, argued that their members were timely in filing applications for exemptions, which got stuck in an unwieldy regulatory process.


Rock Zierman, chief executive officer of the CIPA, wrote in an emailed statement that the ruling would protect well operators from being penalized for events beyond their control.

"Fully permitted production won't be arbitrarily shut down since there is no environmental harm," he wrote. "The ruling simply allows for the completion of the state's review process which is taking longer than anticipated."

San Diego Union Tribune: California about to go its own way on methane (March 23, 2017)

On Thursday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to pass what is considered the nation’s strictest rule aimed at curbing emissions from the potent greenhouse gas.


In a statement, the California Independent Petroleum Association said that requirement raises issues over “local implementation, unnecessary testing requirements and burdensome costs.”


Chris Hall, president of Drilling and Production Company, a “mom and pop” producer with wells in the state’s Oil Patch in Kern County, said the rule would hit small to mid-sized oil and gas producers in the state much harder than big producers.

“The overriding concern is, we question the amount of reduction of emissions that are really going to be achieved by this,” Hall said in a telephone interview.

Reuters: California regulator to vote on United States' strictest methane rule (March 23, 2017)

California's air pollution regulator is due to hold a vote on Thursday on methane emission regulations that it says would be the strictest in the United States in controlling the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.


Sabrina Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the California Natural Gas Producers Association, expressed reservations about the proposal on Wednesday, and said industry concerns have centered on requirements for continued inspections even for facilities with strong maintenance records, and the cost of inspection.

If approved, California’s regulations would be the most stringent in the country. Colorado, Wyoming and Ohio have their own regulations to tackle methane, and fracking powerhouse Pennsylvania is in the process of crafting its own rules.

Natural Gas Intelligence: EDF Targeting California Oilfield Pollution (March 17, 2017)

With one of its guns trained on the statenatural gas storage and delivery systems, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) this week aimed another one at oil and natural gas fields in California, targeting alleged public health problems for populations living in and around production areas in a state that has several urban-located drill sites.


"Once again, anti-oil activists are using politics and twisting the facts in their quest to threaten our nation's energy independence," said a spokesperson for the Sacramento-based California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA). "EDF uses Aliso Canyon as an example of why oil production is dangerous, but that is a utility [Southern California Gas Co.] owned natural gas storage facility, which is not the same."

CIPA's assessment is that EDF's criticisms are politically motivated using what it considers "wrong science" that if left to stand "will only increase our dependence on more oil from the Middle East."

Bloomberg/Bureau of National Affairs: Methane Cuts Coming to California Despite Federal Rollback (March 14, 2017)

The proposal has been slightly revised since it was introduced, largely to clarify some issues.

“CARB has made slight improvements, but there are some issues that need to be addressed,” Sabrina Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA), told Bloomberg BNA in an email. “CIPA continues to have concerns regarding local implementation, unnecessary testing requirements and burdensome costs.”

The oil and gas industry is unhappy with the elimination of a provision to ease monitoring and reporting requirements for companies maintaining a full year of compliance and the potential costs of the regulation.

New research has found that a recent increase in methane emissions over the last two years is likely not due to fossil fuels, Lockhart said.

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.


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.”


“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. 


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