Billions of barrels of Monterey Shale oil out of reach

montereyshaleFederal officials have dramatically slashed estimates of the amount of oil that can be recovered from the Monterey Shale, a huge formation of rock under parts of the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. The new numbers could put a major damper on efforts to exploit the Shale, which some have called a potential bonanza for California. With current technology, the Monterey Shale could yield 600 million barrels of oil, according to the Energy Department. That’s down 96 percent from previous estimates of 13.7 billion barrels. The earlier estimates touched off a speculation boom among oil companies, which in turn has spurred environmental concerns. The oil would have to be extracted through fracking, which environmentalists say pollutes the landscape and could contaminate water supplies.

purple-lineLos Angeles is getting $2.1 billion in federal funding for the next leg of the Metro Purple Line extension – $1.2 million in grants, and an $856 million loan. Mayor Eric Garcetti is joining Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox in Washington today for the announcement. The money will help pay for a roughly four mile extension of the Purple Line along Wilshire Boulevard, from its current end at Western Avenue, all the way to La Cienega Boulevard. The extension is expected to be finished by 2023. Eventually, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the Purple Line will dig its way westward under Wilshire, all the way to the 405.

Jurors are deliberating in the case of the first Sheriff’s deputy to be charged in an ongoing federal investigation into corruption and brutality inside L.A. County Jails. Deputy James Sexton didn’t testify during his trial, but prosecutors say his earlier statements to a grand jury prove that he was part of a conspiracy to hide an informant from the FBI. Sexton is one of seven current and former sheriff’s officials accused of moving the informant around the jail system to keep him away from his FBI handlers. He’s looking at a potential 15-year prison sentence. Sexton’s lawyers say he was just following orders. The trial included testimony from former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who is now running for Sheriff. Tanaka admitted on the stand that he is the subject of a federal grand jury probe.

shellysterlingL.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling destroyed evidence and asked his friend V. Stiviano to lie about the authenticity of the audiotape that led to his banishment from the basketball league. So says the NBA as it lays out its case to oust Sterling for racist comments. The league accuses Sterling of lying when he initially denied making derogatory remarks about African-Americans. He told investigators the tapes must have been altered. The league also says Sterling approached Stiviano and asked her to tell investigators that the voice on the tape was not his. The NBA has scheduled a June 3rd hearing when the league and the Clippers will make their arguments.

ARTSSCHOOLThe third time is apparently for the charm for the LAUSD in its effort to lure one of the nation’s leading arts educators. The district has hired Rory Pullens to run its art programs. He has been the chief executive of the Duke Ellington School of Arts in Washington, D.C. Pullens twice previously accepted a job as head of the district’s flagship arts school in downtown L.A. But he withdrew once to deal with a family crisis, and the another time he simply changed his mind. The 56-year-old Pullens will earn $147,000 a year.