Oil Field and Natural Gas Exploration in Kern County

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • The Mark Restaurant, 1623 19th St, Bakersfield, CA
  • 0


This event is full. We do have a waiting list. Please send your name, email, phone number and lunch choice to Kristine Johnson at kristinej@fresnofloodcontrol.org to be added to the waiting list. You will be registered for the event if we receive a cancellation in the order the waiting list requests are received. Thank you. 


The AEP Central Chapter is excited and honored to host Lorelei Oviatt, Director for the Kern County Planning and Community Development Department, who will be discussing her Department's preparation of a Project Environmental Impact Report that is intended to provide a comprehensive environmental assessment of all oil and gas exploration and operations in Kern County. 

While the preparation of this Environmental Impact Report appears to be a monumental task, Lorelei has not been one to shy away from such endeavors. In addition to her many other responsibilities and achievements as Planning Director,  she has lead Kern County’s efforts to attract investments in renewable energy and transform Kern County into what she calls “Ground zero” for green energy. Under her leadership Kern County has over 8619 MW of renewable energy projects permitted with 2/3 built and over 2000 MW more in process of review under CEQA to attain the Kern County Board of Supervisors goal of 10,000 MW in production by 2015. These efforts are chronicled in a February 2010 article published in OnEarth, entitled “Renewable Energy Catches on in Red America.”

Lorelei Oviatt, AICP, is and has worked in both the public and private sector in land development. As the Director she manages the Kern County General Plan, Metropolitan Bakersfield General Plan and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance. Her years of professional planning experience in the public and private sectors focuses on project management of large scale, multi-agency planning efforts and moving extremely complex projects through the system under accelerated timeframes.

The department manages land use permitting for renewable energy projects and providing guidance on sustainability issues including global climate change, endangered species regulatory issues, Clean Air Act issues, coordination and dialogue with the Department of Defense on installation and airspace sustainability issues, other special projects that involve State and federal programs, compliance with NEPA and management of Environmental Impact Reports and Mitigated Negative Declarations. She is a working member of the county litigation team involving CEQA challenges and has implemented local approaches, thresholds and mitigation for renewable energy, air quality, global warming, SB 610 water analysis compliance and compliance with biological and cultural issues.   

She is the past Director of the Southern Division for the Central Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association, a member of the American Society for Public Administration and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Philosophy from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. After earning this degree she chose to pursue a career in planning as she felt that planning was a better fit than sociology as she wanted to actively participate in the real world implementation of policy to create a quality world for everyone, and not just study such policies in an academic setting. Subsequently, Lorelei earned a Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Bakersfield where she is a Lecturer for Urban Planning in the Department of Business and Public Administration.   

Lorelei identified three aspects of her job as Planning Director that makes it so rewarding: (1) the opportunity to work with a County team that is more interested in results than in bureaucratic process; (2) the opportunity to work for a Board of Supervisors in which all five Board members empower her to “take on the big stuff and move it forward;” and (3) the job is never boring.  

Lorelei is looking forward to a rousing discussion at the September 11th event so we hope you will come and participate with your questions and comments.    

(OnEarth is a publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The following is a link to this article: http://www.onearth.org/article/renewable-energy-catches-on-in-red-america)

Date: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm 
Location: The Mark Restaurant in Bakersfield
Cost: Free for AEP Members, $25 for non-members, $10 for students

Lunch will be included. Lunch choices are:

  • Tuscan Chicken Sandwich served with French Fries.  
  • Southwest Flat Iron Steak Salad with iceberg & romaine lettuce, roasted corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onions, avocado, roasted red peppers, fried tortilla strips and smokey chipotle ranch dressing.
  • Porcini Mushroom Ravioli with asparagus, mushroom, artichoke and sundried tomato sauce.

© AEP Central Chapter
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