In a recent column, Rosemary Holmes described many of the problems with Pacific Coast Energy’s proposal to double the number of cyclic-steaming wells on its property from 96 to 192.

Since the initial 96 wells began pumping high-pressure steam into the Diatomite formation to loosen up the thick crude oil, the oil seeps that have occurred naturally throughout recorded history increased dramatically. The California Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources has had to step in to shut down some of the oil production to reduce the seeps.

When seeps occur, seep cans need to be installed to collect the oil. When seeps are discovered, bulldozers need to scrape new roads to the site, unless the seep happens to be adjacent to one of the existing dirt roads.