A view of oil wells at the Kern River Oil Field in Kern County, circa 1977. (Courtesy of City of San Francisco)

No more oil money for SF library, Golden Gate Park

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that prohibits San Francisco from entering into new leases or extending existing leases for the extraction of fossil fuels from city-owned land.

The legislation was introduced by Supervisor John Avalos after he learned that The City has long been receiving oil field revenues from land in Kern County bequeathed to San Francisco by Alfred Fuhrman’s estate. The City receives 15 percent of royalties from Chevron under a lease that expires in 2020.

Facing the loss of revenue, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission surveyed the 1,480 acres in Fresno and Kern counties, which includes 800 acres currently under lease with Chevron, and found 484-acres would work for a solar energy project that would generate about $484,000 a year.

As a condition of the gift, all revenue from the land was must be split 50-50 between the San Francisco Library and Golden Gate Park. The revenues from the oil field have declined in recent years from $952,000 in 2011 to last year’s $320,000.
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