[Video from KCET.]
California already has earthquake and environmental problems, so of course, it makes perfect sense to sell oil leases that can be permitted to use fracking. Via Salon:
Eight different groups — including oil companies — bid for the leases involving 15 parcels of land up for auction in rural stretches of Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties, Bureau of Land Management spokesman David Christy said. The agency plans to announce the winners within 24 hours.
Numerous environmental groups who saw the auction as a sign that California is next in line for an oil and gas boom protested outside the auction in Sacramento, with some activists donning hazmat suits.
The auction attracted a normal turnout of bidders, and about half the parcels went for just $2.50 an acre, much less than the typical price in nearby Kern County, an oil-rich basin along a mountain range north of Los Angeles.
Winning bidders would still need to be granted an additional permit from the bureau in order to start drilling using traditional technologies, or hydraulic fracturing, a technique to extract hard-to-reach gas and oil by pummeling rocks deep underground with high-pressure water, sand and chemicals.
Democratic Rep. Sam Farr had asked the agency to put the auction on hold over concerns that the bureau wasn’t doing enough to monitor the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
There were protests, of course, but that didn't really stop anything. Similarly, the regulations around fracking are so loose that having to get an additional permit is just part of the cost of getting richer to these oil barons. Worse, fracking regulations aren't even finalized yet, and were just pushed back yet again.
Until demand lessens, they're going to be able to destroy the environment and hasten climate change. This needs to be as high of a priority as Medicare and union membership. The oligarchs will not be satisfied until they have exhausted or stolen every resource on the planet.