Youth activists fight to stop oil drilling sites in Contra Costa Co.

The goal is to spread public awareness, health concerns and have oil drilling sites properly presented to the county board

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Monday, March 7, 2022
Youth activists fight to stop oil drilling in Contra Costa Co.
High school students are organizing a protest against a proposed additional oil drilling site in Contra Costa County.

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KGO) -- Alexi Lindeman went home to home placing fliers Saturday evening on mailboxes in a Brentwood neighborhood. She chose that neighborhood because it borders a proposed oil draining sight. Those fliers are about a protest planned for next week.

"We do not want this drilling site here, or any other drilling site in contra," Lindeman said.

Lindeman is a high school student and member of Sustainable Contra Costa - a nonprofit group dedicated to helping fight climate change.

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Her protest next week is designed to spread awareness to the community so they can voice their concerns to Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors about the proposed oil drilling sight.

"I am hoping to educate the people around here," she said. "We want a lot of pubic comment so the board can vote no."

RELATED: Trump administration wants to sell oil drilling leases in East Bay

The Trump administration isn't giving up plans to allow more oil drilling in California. It's just moving potential sites from the sea to the land.

Awareness on this issue is something that did not happen in previous years. The county approved a permit for an oil draining site in Antioch back in 2018. That permit never got appealed, and therefore never got presented in front of the Board of Supervisors.

"For the Zoning Commissioner, those decisions can be appealed to Planning Commission and then appealed to us at the Board of Supervisors," said John Gioia, Supervisor for District 1. "If nobody appeals it, and apparently nobody did, it never comes before us. And that is because there wasn't enough awareness on this issue."

That is what Lindeman is trying to change. There is a current proposal to expand the current oil drilling site to another. That plan is still awaiting an environmental impact report. Supervisory Gioia says that could get done in the coming months. Once it is done, Lindeman hopes there is enough public input to stop a new permit.

"It has serious environmental and health impacts," she said. "Plus, we are talking about the future of the planet. We have to take care of it."