I was astounded when I learned from a friend that the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) was holding a series of three meetings in the tri-county area of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz. "How can that be?" I asked myself?
During the 2014 campaign to ban fracking in San Benito County, the BLM assured us at the Hollister Office that they had our backs and would do what they could to fulfill their mission statement which is: TO SUSTAIN THE HEALTH AND DIVERSITY AND PRODUCTIVITY OF PUBLIC LANDS ENTRUSTED TO THEM FOR THE USE AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF ALL PEOPLE. Since 2014, two measures have been passed by the voters of San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties to ban fracking and steam injection methods of oil and gas extraction in all three counties. By the vote of the people, these measures became the law of the state of California. This was due to the BLM being sued for an inadequate environmental impact statement on their lands and the overwhelming majority of people in the three counties who did not want any fracking in their counties.
This seemed settled until the new administration entered the picture. It is interesting how fast the oil and gas corporations got to work to present a revised EIR indicating new methods of fracking and extraction of oil and gas that would not harm the environment or the creatures living in the area including humans: No poisoning of the aquifers, no pollution in the drinking and irrigation wells, no polluting of the air or surface land and of course no earthquakes to damage the well casings! This is preposterous and contradicts thousands of pages of scientific investigations into fracking and injection methods over the past 20 years in this country.
I can only surmise that the power of the fossil fuel industry is once more in the driver’s seat of government decisions and that there was great pressure on the BLM to spend the time and money to develop five alternative plans to permit oil and gas leases on BLM lands and private lands on which BLM has held the mineral rights for generations (sometimes unknown to the private owners of the land).
We are the public. These lands are OUR lands held in trust for the millions of us who want to preserve and protect our dwindling resources of recreation and renewal for the human spirit and for all the animal and plant spirits that dwell therein. Fracking and extraction are against everyone of us who want a sustainable and peaceful planet. This is the last gasp of the fossil fuel monopolies who will squeeze the last drop and make as many billions as then can before they are stopped by the people of this planet,
The BLM must unite with the people of this state to honor the wishes of the people they serve and tell the oil and gas monopolies: No more fracking; No more oil and gas extraction on public lands in this state! There is no “safe” alternative plan. The only plan is stop the process NOW.
Email or write BLM CaliforniaState Office, Attn. CCFO O&G leasing EIS, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-123, Sacramento, Ca. 95825 or email: BLM CA OGEIS@blm.gov.
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