Note: since adoption of the new county oil and gas ordinance, we have not been regularly updating this website. 

For more information about, and to get involved with, ongoing fracking and other oil-related issues in the San Benito County area, please see or contact Mary Hsia-Coron or Kate Woods at

Information about our current situation (scroll down for "News about our current situation" section)

California communities fight for fracking protections (YouTube video produced by NRDC about the San Benito County ordinance, featuring some of the core members of A.C.E.)

Proposed San Benito County Oil and Gas Well Ordinance, May 7, 2013 (the changes from the May 1 version are summarized here)

Videos of San Benito County Planning Dept meetings discussing permitting of Citadel Exploration, Inc.'s, south county drilling operations: February 20, 2013, March 20, 2013, and April 17, 2013

Proposed San Benito County Oil and Gas Well Ordinance, May 1, 2013

Draft San Benito County Oil and Gas Well Ordinance, as of April 11, 2013

Draft San Benito County Oil and Gas Well Ordinance (from agenda for Board of Supervisors meeting on January 22, 2013)

Agenda for 12/5/12 SBC Planning Commission meeting (on the agenda: a public comment period for a new oil drilling permit to be issued to Citadel Exploration, Inc., for the Bitterwater region in southwest San Benito County)

Ruckus in Aromas song! Written and performed by some of our own Aromas community members

Powerpoint from ACE presentation at San Benito County Board of Supervisors 11/1/12 public workshop

Map of San Benito County oil wells (north portion of county).  From DOGGR Online Mapping System (Division of Oil, Geothermal and Gas Resources)

Map of San Benito County oil wells (south portion of county).  See North County map for legend to explain well categories.

Map of areas with oil and gas potential in our region (Bureau of Land Management, 2005)

Agenda for the October 16, 2012 San Benito County Board of Supervisors meeting (our issue is pgs. 271-306, and can also be found here)

Video transcript from the September 25, 2012 San Benito County Board of Supervisors meeting (our issue is from 51:00 - 130:00 or so)

Comments by ACE members to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors in favor of a temporary moratorium on granting new oil and gas permits

Report from San Benito County Planning Department staff to SBC Board of Supervisors.  The planning department appears to be receptive to concerns raised by ACE about the permitting process, and now, as part of that process, asks applicants whether their plans include fracking.  This is an important first step.  However, in this report they indicate that they think that the process now needs no more updating, a conclusion with which ACE does not agree.

September 7, 2012 Graniterock letter to Supervisor Anthony Botelho in support of ACE's efforts

August 22, 2012 Letter to Supervisor Anthony Botelho from ACE, requesting 180 day moratorium on new drilling permits

Suggestions from Steve Craig for Improving Oil, Gas and Mineral Resource Management in San Benito County

ACE Community Fact Sheet, July 25, 2012

Fracking in Aromas? (San Juan Star, August 1, 2012) (sorry, the link takes you to a pretty poor quality image of the article; there is no electronic version)

The above article provides some background information about the initial community involvement in this issue

Map of area included in in the June, 2012, seismic sampling by Freedom Resources

News about our current situation

Above the Monterey Shale, farmers worry fracking will destroy the land (Bay Nature, August 5, 2013) - part two in a three-part series

In condor country comes a California oil boom (Bay Nature, July 18, 2013) - part one in a three-part series

INSIGHT: California environmentalists fear frack fight a distraction (Reuters, May 28, 2013).  Covers much of the same information as the EnergyWire article, below: that drilling in the Monterey Shale frequently uses techniques other than fracking, and that these techniques and their associated materials are no less of an environmental concern than are those used in fracking.

Hydraulic Fracturing: Calif.'s proposed moratoriums might not apply to other drilling in Monterey Shale (EnergyWire, May 20, 2013).  From the article:  "A war of words is brewing over hydraulic fracturing and efforts to ban or limit it in California.  Activists who believe they've created negative buzz around the oil and gas extraction process also called "fracking" have launched a new battle: persuading the state's Legislature to look at also restricting different drilling techniques. Green groups warn that other oil recovery methods underway are equally risky, including one they fear could rapidly balloon in use.  Because those aren't labeled as "hydraulic fracturing," proposed moratoriums and other restrictions might not apply."

Our View: Board falls short with oil rules (Editorial, Hollister FreeLance, May 17, 2013)

Supes weaken drilling rules (The Condor News, May 16, 2013).  A report on the oil ordinance hearing at the May 7, 2013, SBC Board of Supervisors meeting

Monterey County Pushes Back on Fracking (KUSP, December 13, 2012)

Southern Monterey County land to be leased for oil development (Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 28, 2012)

Idea for oil exploration hiatus tabled until next month (Hollister Free Lance, September 26, 2012)  This article covers the Sept. 25 SBC Board of Supervisors meeting agenda item about a drilling permit moratorium and updates to the county oil extraction ordinance

Oil Exploration in Aromas? (KUSP Talk of The Bay, August 17, 2012) (note: interview starts about 6 minutes into the recording)

Tapping Reserves: Aromas residents prepare for prospecting; Graniterock lawyer works for oil company (Monterey County Weekly, August 9, 2012)

Oil Found in Aromas, More Jobs? (KION 46 Central Coast News, August 8, 2012)

Granite Rock sought seismic study at quarry: Company wanted to map granite deposits, but doesn't rule out oil drilling (Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 8, 2012)

Central Coast Battle Shaping Up Over Potential For Huge Oil Fracking Operation (CBS News, August 7, 2012)

Editorial: With oil comes opportunity, and work for the county (San Benito County Today, August 7, 2012)

The Oil Play: Technology, market stir renewed interest in San Benito County (San Benito County Today, August 3, 2012)

Graniterock CEO: No plans for fracking (Register-Pajaronian, July 31, 2012)

GraniteRock CEO's Open Letter to the Community, July 30, 2012

    ACE response to Granterock letter, July 31, 2012

Graniterock open to oil drilling in Aromas; decision hinges on community opinion, spokesman says (Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 21, 2012)

Fracking In Aromas? (KUSP 88.9 The Land Use Report, July 19, 2012)

Gas land? Community roused as seismic study seeks oil near Aromas (Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 13, 2012)

Drilling deeper: Seismic testing in Aromas could be a precursor to oil exploration and fracking (Monterey County Weekly, July 12, 2012)

Frack Attack (KUSP 88.9 The Land Use Report, June 27, 2012)

Polly Goldman,
May 21, 2013, 6:33 AM
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May 22, 2013, 9:24 PM
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Apr 14, 2013, 8:48 PM
Polly Goldman,
May 2, 2013, 8:52 PM
Polly Goldman,
May 21, 2013, 6:33 AM