Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Blake quoted in Pro Publica article on aging oil wells

Date: 
Fri, 09/18/2020

AirUCI faculty Don Blake is quoted in a September 18, 2020 article in Pro Publica exposing the dangers of unmaintained oil wells in California's Central Valley and elsewhere.  Thousands of aging wells crowd the Kern County landscape three hours from the coast, where oil companies inject steam at high pressure to loosen up heavy crude.  This process regularly causes oil to suddenly shoot out of the bare ground in Kern County and other places far away, polluting the soil, water, and air, adversely affecting agriculture, and risking the health of workers and nearby residents as well as local livestock and wildlife.
 
“Every time you push oil through an open pathway to the surface, it’s like opening a bottle of soda,” says Don , who has tracked air pollutants around the world, including in Kern County.  Loopholes in regulations and uneven oversight have protected oil industries from violations of state and federal law.  Read the article