Hundreds of Californians seek custom oil and gas maps following governor’s request

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Hundreds of Californians have requested free custom research of their property from state regulators, following the governor’s request for a personal evaluation of oil, gas and mining interests on his Northern California ranch.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press first reported that Governor Jerry Brown had directed state employees at the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources with the California Department of Conservation to evaluate his 2,700-acre property for its oil, gas and mining potential. The request raised questions about whether the governor had inappropriately used state resources for his personal benefit.

State officials, including department heads appointed by Brown, defended the governor’s actions by saying that he received the same services that are available to members of the general public. That claim inspired the statewide advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog, to send out an email campaign urging average citizens to obtain their free oil, gas and mining maps.

“Isn’t it a misuse of public funds for the governor to have the state’s oil and gas agency map and survey his personal property?” wrote Carmen Balber, executive director for Consumer Watchdog. “Why not find out if your house is sitting on a black gold mine? Go to our website and send an email asking for your free oil and gas map.”

About 200 Request Custom Maps

A spokesman with the Department of Conservation says approximately 200 people have made the request — with only about a dozen following through with the complete evaluation.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 12.00.48 PM“Since the Associated Press’ recent story, we have received about 200 requests from individuals seeking data,” said Don Drysdale, the oil and gas division’s spokesman. “The Department has contacted all of those individuals; only about a dozen have followed through on the data request and were provided a custom map, access to relevant well records, a brief summary of the activity in their region, and links to other data.”

Drysdale said that the public has access to “a significant amount of both current and historic data, as well as mapping tools.” He added that the department has not changed its policy since the Associated Press story broke.

When CalWatchdog.com submitted a request for a free custom oil, gas and mining map, the state department said that it would be happy to provide the information.

“The Department of Conservation, which includes the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, the Office of Mine Reclamation, the California Geological Survey, and the Division of Land Resource Protection, would be happy to carry out your request to find geologic or resource information on or around your property,” the agency responded to CalWatchdog.com’s email request.

AP: No Records of Same Level of Service

Although the department has been quick to provide free access to its mapping tools, experts in the oil and gas industry say that the governor received advanced geological information and a determination of his property’s potential value.

“It’s not part of the division’s charge,” Anneliese Anderle, a former state oil and gas engineer told the Associated Press. “Bottom line was we wouldn’t be doing what was provided to the governor.”

There’s no evidence that any member of the general public has received the same level of personalized service that the governor received from state employees.

“The Associated Press found no records that show anyone else received the same level of service on private land — and one state lawmaker was even told that state officials couldn’t help him map oil wells that were potentially endangering drinking water supplies in his Southern California district,” the news service reported this week.

Like so many controversies, the response to the scandal has itself drawn scrutiny. A state employee with the state oil and gas agency has filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that she was retaliated against for being suspected of uncovering the potential wrongdoing.

18 comments

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  1. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 19 November, 2015, 07:48

    So is those annoying little band of trouble making pests from Greenpeace going to obtain maps like that so they can send their bands of Greenpests to block the wells from being used?

    Reply this comment
  2. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 19 November, 2015, 08:47

    OMG! This is TOO MUCH! WAY TOO MUCH!
    Yet another flaming ‘progressive’ HYPOCRITE! He wants to DRILL FOR OIL on his -gasp- 2,700 acre ranch!! I guess climate change is for little people huh? He probably has an arsenal of guns out on the ranch too….And how did the former jesuit seminarian, who has spent his entire life in ‘public service’ come to acquire such VAST wealth? Anyone? Come on you prog-trolls, I REALLY want to see your spin on this one…

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 19 November, 2015, 09:53

      Commodore Goreeee

      Meds Bro-

      Reply this comment
      • Bill Gore
        Bill Gore 19 November, 2015, 14:03

        Non-adequate response amigo…Come on I really want to know…

        Reply this comment
        • Ulysses Uhaul
          Ulysses Uhaul 19 November, 2015, 23:03

          Billy,

          Show some reasonable restraint and deference. You’re ruled. Kiss some rings and curtsy every so often-

          Reply this comment
          • Bill Gore
            Bill Gore 20 November, 2015, 21:26

            That is a rude and threatening response. CW is a safe space for sane discussion, we need some moderation of UHauls’ tone and content…..

  3. Ted
    Ted 19 November, 2015, 09:19

    LOL you alarmist tools!

    He is looking to drill for geothermal for a wise enviro choice to heat and cool– relax trolls! lmao !!!

    Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 19 November, 2015, 13:52

      I see the dynamic duo of duncehood is taking up space here with the usual inane progtard blather. Ted and Uhaul have the intellect of a corpse and the ethics of a Clinton Foundation tax lawyer.

      Why don’t you two hapless drones find something useful to do with your lives? You could be saving baby seals or providing refuge to some Syrian terrorist refugee. You’re wasting electricity and killing Mommy Earth.

      Reply this comment
      • Ulysses Uhaul
        Ulysses Uhaul 22 November, 2015, 00:41

        Dys

        Fair and balanced like Fox News….your life is so much richer being exposed to enlightened discourse…..

        Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 November, 2015, 10:31

      Teddy should put a request in too, except instead of mapping/hunting for oil, he should instruct them to look for his long lost brain 🙂

      Reply this comment
  4. Bill
    Bill 19 November, 2015, 20:19

    I don’t blame him. He once drilled and got Linda Ronstadt.

    Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 20 November, 2015, 01:35

    Another perfect example of Moonbeams own hypocracy and he isnt the only one I hear the Audubon Society owns and operates its own oil wells and lets not forget Greenpeace their ships still use deisel fuel to putter all over the world to release those annoying Zodiacs with their gasoline engines the same kind of engines that crack-pot AL GORE wants to eliminate(Ecept for himself)typical liberal two faced hypotcrite

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 November, 2015, 10:29

    When CalWatchdog.com submitted a request for a free custom oil, gas and mining map, the state department said that it would be happy to provide the information.
    Can you link me to the request form, I am going to request a study too 🙂 I could be sitting on a gold mine, BLACK GOLD!

    Reply this comment
  7. Leaving Soon
    Leaving Soon 21 November, 2015, 12:38

    How can people still support this regurgitated governor. I see his supporters can’t justify his behavior so they start spewing hate and resort to name calling.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul0
    Ulysses Uhaul0 22 November, 2015, 00:36

    Uly is fair and balanced. A choir boy considering the redneck trash writ up by some on CWD.

    Reply this comment

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John Hrabe

John Hrabe

John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist. When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about California politics for CalWatchdog.com and CalNewsroom.com.

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