The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

The Future Promise of American Energy

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted August 25, 2014

Faces of Oil Industry Aren't Always Big Corporations

Lompoc (Calif.) Record: Karen Sherrill is a widow who lives alone in a nice modular home park in Orcutt. She recently retired from a job with a local travel company. And like a number of people, she supplements her income with money she receives from a local oil company which leases her mineral rights.

Because she relies so much on her lease checks from Greka Energy, she's concerned about Measure P and how it could affect her income. The voter-driven initiative to ban oil extraction methods of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, cyclic steaming and well acidization in Santa Barbara County is on the November ballot.

Sherrill said recently, in an interview at her home, that when people go to the polls she hopes they know that there's more at stake than just the future of big oil companies.

"It starts with us, just common people. I'm 78 years old and a widow. I can’t live on Social Security. I need our lease money to survive," said Sherrill, whose husband Frederick Sherrill died in 1996.

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Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.