oil rig 2

An oil rig in San Ardo. 

If you think Monterey County's oil operations don't come with a great cost, think again. 

In a report released today by the Center for Biological Diversity, which utilizes recent data from the California Air Resources Board, it is revealed that the process to extract oil from South County's San Ardo oilfield is more carbon-intensive than extracting oil from the Alberta tar sands, which have long been vilified as dangerously carbon-intensive source of fossil fuel.

Furthermore, the state's data shows that San Ardo's oil is the third-most carbon-intensive to process in California, but because the quantity of oil extracted in San Ardo dwarfs the first and second on that list, San Ardo is the most carbon-intensive oilfield in the state. 

The report comes out just weeks before Monterey County residents will vote on Measure Z, which seeks to ban fracking, wastewater injection and new fossil fuel-related wells in the county.

"Allowing an expansion at the San Ardo oilfield," the report reads, "which already California's single-largest source of the most climate damaging oil, would directly contradict the state's crucial efforts to reduce pollution and avert the most dangerous effects of climate change."

Recommended for you

(2) comments

Luana Conley

Certainly national policy needs to change, but politicians remember what happened to Jimmy Carter when he simply put on a sweater and asked people to dial back the thermostat. Reagan next stripped the solar panels off the White House and did the same to R&D budgets for alternative energy. ExxonMobil became a leader in funding the climate change denial fraud using the same Merchants of Doubt playbook invented by Big Tobacco, confusing low information voters while Big Oil reaps massive profits and gets outrageous tax subsidies, subsidies that should be going to implementing clean energy.
But Measure Z is about the water, we can't afford having 13.8 million gallons of water a day go to oil production, not in the Salad Bowl of the Nation. And, Monterey County oil is shipped to LA refineries and sold on the global market. It's simply not appropriate land use on top of the Salinas River and the San Andreas Fault. YES on Z.

Kid Copernicus

I think the article is misleading and does not note that San Ardo has a reverse osmosis plant treating water which is unique for industry which is also energy intensive. The most carbon intensive practice in Monterrey is driving cars by far. I think the only way to tackle global warming is to tax fossil fuels 5% extra every year to encourage less consumption. I don't know why environmentalists go after fields that represent 0.001% of world production. It only hurts the United States, go after car drivers, those are the people that convert oil to GHGs.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.