Monday, November 9, 2015

It's Good to be the King - Jerry Brown Style

AP: Jerry Brown used state officials to research oil access on family property

"California is at the beginning of a $100 billion project to run a medium-speed electrical train along and over the the San Andreas Fault in large part to give travelers an option to get from LA to Frisco without feeling guilty about global warming. Airplanes, which make the trip more quickly and with far less government subsidies, use fossil fuels — and Governor Jerry Brown and the state of California don’t like fossil fuels. That is, they don’t like them unless Jerry Brown can find some under his family’s property … and the Associated Press reports that Brown used state resources to do some prospecting on the ol’ homestead:

Gov. Jerry Brown last year directed state oil and gas regulators to research, map and report back on any mining and oil drilling potential and history at the Brown family’s private land in Northern California.

After a phone call from the governor and follow-up requests from his aides, senior staffers in the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency over at least two days produced a 51-page historical report and geological assessment, plus a personalized satellite-imaged geological and oil and gas drilling map for the area around Brown’s family ranchland near the town of Williams. …

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup declined to discuss the work for the governor, referring the AP to California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. That agency said the work was a legal and proper use of public resources — and no more than the general public would get. But oil industry experts said they could not recall a similar example of anyone getting that kind of state work done for private property.

As the AP reports, California has legal prohibitions against officials using state resources for private interests. Unless Brown intended to turn his family property over to the state, how exactly does this not constitute a violation of those restrictions?"

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