History of the Whittier Main Oil Project



History of the Whittier Hills Oil Project
 Part 1 – 2006

Since most of you are not aware of the Whittier oil project let alone its history I think its only fair based off of e-mails and documents that were obtained through public records request to the City. Its a long story so I will give you the abbreviated version year by year.

In 1992 and again in 1995 the Whittier Hills were purchased with County funds from a proposition know as Prop "A" and Baby "A". The money that City had originally asked for was reduce which then made impossible to purchase the hills from Chevron. So, in 1994 the Habitat Authority was established to assist in the purchase process.

Former Sate Assemblyman Frank Hill helped to spearhead the effort to start the Habitat Authority. Whittier Councilman Bob Henderson was made Chairman of the Board and still remains in that position today. The Habitat Authority was originally created to acquired additional funding for the hills from the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy which is a agency that is part of the State of California. They too had received Prop "A" funds.

This now takes us up to the oil project. Many hours have been put into the research of this project to better understand why the City did what they did and was it legal.

We start out doing public records request that takes us to e-mails between the City of Whittier and Matrix Oil. Those e-mails were dated November 16, 2006. In them Whittier has asked Matrix oil to look at some abandon wells in the City's landfill. I believe they were in an area know as Grainger Canyon. This property was quick claimed to the City of Whittier from Chevron Oil. It resulted from a lawsuit between McFarland Energy and Chevron. Mc Farland Energy is own by a local oilman named J C McFarland who later became the liaison between Matrix Oil and the City of Whittier. Matrix was his client.

Documents from 2006



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History of the Whittier Hills Oil Project

Part 2 – 2007

2007 is the year when the City signed a “Letter of Intent” with Matrix oil.  Here is the dictionary’s definition of a Letter of Intent; “A written statement expressing the intention of the undersigned to engage in a certain action or business transaction”.  

Government cannot do business with anyone they wish.  That creates an unfair advantage with outer vendors that qualify to do the same job.  So Cities must be very careful when dealing with vendors and contracts.

That is why they have the bid process for contracts.  This is where a Governmental Agency (City) creates a bid specification for services, equipment or supplies they want to purchase.  In the case of Whittier they did create a bid specification long after agreements were signed with the oil companies.  That is where the unfair advantage comes in.  Whittier was exclusively working with the oil companies since October 2006.  Almost 2 years before the bid was awarded to those same oil companies.  That creates an unfair advantage.  

On November 27, 2007 the City of Whittier signed a “Letter of Intent” with Matrix Oil.  Below is that agreement.  

*This document was discovered through a Public Records Request to the City of Whittier.  This is their document.

I have included a newspaper article from the Whittier Daily News on when the first car dealership closed.  It was after the oil project started.  The City lied to its citizens because they said they needed the money because of the closing of the dealerships.  The oil project started in October 2006 and the first car dealership closed in December of 2007.
Documents from 2007



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2007_12_28 BOARD FORD CLOSES 122807.pdf 2007_12_28 BOARD FORD CLOSES 122807.pdf
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History of the Whittier Hills Oil Project

Part 3 – 2008

In 2008 the oil project swung into high gear.  Backroom deals were made, secret agreements signed along with meetings between interested parties.

It started off with a meeting between "Interested Parties" which included members from our City council and other City officials along with the Habitat Authority and both oil companies (see e-mail on right).

The meeting was setup by a local oil tycoon who himself owns oil wells in the City and is well know to our City Council (see e-mail on right).  He is also the liaison for the oil companies.  At that meeting which lunch was provided by him information was share about the Whittier Main Oil Project.  A project that was started in October of 2006 and later named AMI Area of Mutual Interest.  At this meeting the Habitat Authority took those Interested Parties on a tour of the proposed oil field area.

In late February or early March of 2008 Whittier had signed an agreement called the Whittier Main Field Agreement (see document on right)