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Cal Spill Watch

In early July, our sister station KQED first reported a huge oil seep in the Cymric Oilfield of western Kern County. At that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil had been bubbling up to the surface for more than two months, yet neither the public nor lawmakers had been notified.

Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times (pool)

An oil seep in Western Kern County has now grown to more than a million gallons in size. On Wednesday, for the first time since the spill was reported, Governor Gavin Newsom paid a visit to the site near the community of McKittrick.

California Office of Spill Prevention and Response

Update July 24:

Chevron reports the seep has grown to more than a million gallons in size.

Update July 19:

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

California is the fourth largest oil producer in the country. As we speak, almost 81,000 wells across the state are churning out oil and gas or being used to inject wastewater back into the ground. For every three of those wells, however, there’s another one well that’s not doing any of those things—and yet they, too, can deteriorate and contaminate the air and water over time. Now, a new state law aims to prevent those hazards.

Dean Florez
Dean Florez Facebook

Former State Senator Dean Florez is headed back to Sacramento, this time as a new member of the state's powerful Air Resources Board. 

Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon announced the appointment Wednesday, saying in a written statement that the Shafter Democrat has "the resolve to stand up to the oil lobby who want to keep the status quo." 

A decade ago, Florez led legislative efforts to end the agriculture industry's historic exemption from state air quality rules. 

Florez issued the following statement: