After intense lobbying from Central Valley legislators and the oil and gas exploration and production industry, on November 3, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown removed Elena Miller as Supervisor of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) within the Department of Conservation. Appointed in 2009, Miller’s tenure as the DOGGR Supervisor has been plagued by complaints of ever increasing backlogs for well permits for the state’s oil and gas industry, which has been a bright spot for job creation in an area of otherwise high unemployment. Legislators from both sides of the aisle, including Democratic State Senator Mark Rubio and Republican State Senator Jean Fuller, emphasized that the backlog was affecting the economics of one of the State’s most depressed areas.


Miller’s successor has yet to be named, but her replacement needs to immediately deal with the backlog of permit applications and set to work repairing strained relationships with the industries the DOGGR regulates, as well as laying out a reliable, understandable, and fair permitting process for oil and gas well and injection well permits.