Earlier this year, Larry Saldana arrived home to his organic farm in Kern County to find puddles of oil on the ground and splashes of oil on his fruit trees, buildings, and vehicles. Oil had even sprayed onto pets and farm animals on 3 neighboring properties.


The remains of an idle oil well on his property, owned and operated by Sequoia Exploration, had sprung a leak. Months later, Larry’s property still has not been cleaned up. This July, a local community organizer returned to the site and found that, while the oil had stopped flowing, potentially toxic or explosive gas was still leaking from the well.


Meanwhile, state regulators have continued to approve permits to maintain unproductive but leaky oil wells like the one that spewed oil on Larry’s farm, instead of ordering they be plugged and cleaned up for good.


This is just one example of a state-wide crisis, and we need Gov. Newsom to ensure that regulators do their jobs, so that what happened to Larry never happens again.


The state’s oil and gas regulator, CalGEM, can and must:


  • Halt all new oil drilling permits and adopt a 3,200 ft. buffer zone to protect homes, schools, and other sensitive sites.
  • Ensure the well on Larry’s farm is properly repaired and cleaned up, and compel oil companies to plug the tens of thousands idle wells across the state that present a dire economic, health and climate threat, starting with those closest to communities.
  • Increase monitoring and inspections to detect and stop methane leaks quickly, particularly for wells near residential neighborhoods, and improve enforcement and accountability to ensure negligent operators do not leave residents like Larry out to dry.

Please join us and call Gov. Newsom today and urge him to ensure that regulators at CalGEM do their jobs, protect communities from the dangers posed by nearby wells, and work to phase out fossil fuels for good.


Call Gov. Newsom today at 877-845-9038!


Call Instructions:

Call 877-845-9038 to be connected to Governor Newsom’s main line. You’ll hear some brief instructions before we connect you. Then press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, and then press 6 to request to speak with a staffer. 

You will likely need to leave a voicemail. That’s okay, please do leave a message! We are logging how many voicemails we leave and will deliver this number to the Governor.


Suggested Call Script:

“My name is ______, and I am a California resident from NAME OF COUNTY calling Governor Newsom to voice my outrage regarding the idle oil well on Larry’s Saldana’s organic farm in Kern County, which has recently leaked crude oil and gases like methane with no adequate cleanup from the operator. What happened to Larry should never happen again. I urge you to ensure state regulators STOP issuing permits to prolong the life of dangerous wells like this one, and instead plug all idle wells that pose direct threats to communities and our climate! I encourage the Governor to go further by ending ALL neighborhood drilling and ALL new fossil fuel approvals!”