Sergio Contreras, who is campaigning as a progressive Democrat for Orange County Supervisor, is facing questions about his past votes in favor of oil drilling in Orange County – even with serious concerns that it could pollute local water supplies.
In 2015, City Councilman Sergio Contreras gave the greenlight to Signal Hill Petroleum to begin searching for oil reserves in the City of Westminster. The controversial approval came after city officials warned that “vibrations from seismic testing could damage the water system’s aging pipes and sewer lines.”
“It’s almost like a musical rod. You can vibrate it, and it could take effect a mile down the road. The vibration will find the weak point, that’s where the damage will be done,” Ken Robbins, general manager of the Midway Sanitation District, told Voice of OC’s Adam Elmahrek.
After Pro-Oil Drilling Vote, Signal Hill Petroleum Contributes to Sergio Contreras
It didn’t take Signal Hill Petroleum long to reward Sergio Contreras for his oil drilling vote. Roughly three months later, the oil driller, which produces more than one million barrels of crude oil every year, sent Contreras a campaign contribution to his city council account.
And the dirty oil money hasn’t stopped flowing to Sergio Contreras and his campaign accounts.
Since 2015, Sergio Contreras has accepted $5,650 from Signal Hill Petroleum, a local oil fracking company that unsuccessfully tried to overturn California’s landmark cap-and-trade auction to limit emissions.
With more than 400 wells, Signal Hill Petroleum has been an active opponent to protecting the environment with common-sense regulations. In 2012, Signal Hill Petroleum joined a coalition of Big Oil and other polluters in a failed attempt to overturn California’s carbon emission cap-and-trade program.
Sergio Contreras’ cozy relationship with Big Oil puts him directly at odds with the California Democratic Party, which has vociferously opposed all types of oil drilling.
“California Democrats are resolute in opposing any oil drilling, period,” California Democratic Party Environmental Caucus Chair RL Miller and California Democratic Party officers said in a 2018 joint statement condemning Trump’s offshore oil announcement. “We know, better than most, the consequences of oil spills. We know, better than most, the wildfires and droughts and other climate change consequences of burning of fossil fuels unchecked.”
In siding with Big Oil, Sergio Contreras is closer to Donald Trump’s position on oil drilling than the Democratic Party of Orange County.
In April 2019, OC Democrats approved a local party resolution, authored by Margie Castellano, Michael Sall, Leslie Davies, William Dawley, and Gary Kephart, supporting the Green New Deal.
Read More: Sergio Contreras Record: Oil Fracking in Orange County
Voice of OC: Is Fracking in Orange County’s Future?
Voice of OC: Oil Hunt to Begin in Westminster