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Articles by Aaron Cantu

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This is the second in a two-part series about oil and gas emissions in the San Joaquin Valley originally published by Capital and Main. Read the first story here.

Just outside the small oil town of McKittrick, five large steam generators resembling a row of chimneys and operated by Sentinel Peak Resources rise over the chaparral at the edge of California’s Cymric Oil Field. The gas-hungry facilities heat large volumes of water into steam so companies can “sweep” thick, molasses-like crude out of the ground.

This part of San Joaquin Valley — home to oil and gas production, industrial agriculture and massive dairy operations — is an epicenter of planet-warming emissions in a state that is otherwise known for its leadership on climate policy. But many of the worst emissions are invisible without specialized equipment. 

New technology is revealing the true extent of pollution across the valley’s major oil and gas fields and underscoring the need for regulatory reform. These revelations are thanks in large part to the work of Riley Duren, a Research Scientist at the University of Arizona and CEO of the nonprofit organization Ca... Read more

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