~Hollin Dretzmann, Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity
35 miles west of our city of Bakersfield: A badly maintained Chevron well has, predictably, broken, leaking another admitted 800,000 gallons of poisonous crude petroleum and poisonous waste-water into our area, prompting our corrupt state regulators to lamely pantomime some laughable substitute for action --a notice of violation and an order to halt 'some' oil extraction work in the area around the spill.
State officials are quoted *prevaricating* that this latest environmental catastrophe presents no risk to the public: W. Dale Harvey, an engineer with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, lamely equivocated that "The incident is not near any aquifers (that would be 'suitable' for 'beneficial' use)." Steve Gonzalez, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response, claims that "The effect of this year's Chevron spill on birds and wildlife 'appears minimal'" --This year's spill. This. Year's. Spill. Because major oil spills, in this state alone, have become so common that we need the qualifier.
The nearest farm is a mere six miles north of that oil field.
Chevron's talking head, Veronica Flores-Paniagua, is employing the euphemism "surface expression" to discuss this 800,000 gallon disaster, noting lightly that 'surface expressions are common in oil fields,' and she is quoted as *prevaricating* that "There has been NO IMPACT to waterways and wildlife." She also freely admits that Chevron KNEW about the only recently-revealed spill, as late as May; and she further admits that Chevron continued to let it leak (this is now Saturday, July 13th; efforts to make repairs and clean it up began only yesterday, Friday; it was being allowed to leak as recently as last Tuesday).
Yes, I'm angry. But somebody ought to be, and obviously; it's not our elected officials, paid by companies like Chevron to look the other way, and then paid again to lie to us, when things go predictably, catastrophically wrong.
UPDATE: Two new posts covering the ongoing spill, which continues to grow. Despite orders to shut it down, Chevron continues to let it poison our environment.
acrylic on canvas 24x36" & 24x12"
Jen Raven 2011 sold