The Portola Expedition discovered the La Brea pits on the first trek up along the coast and through the L.A. Basin in 1769. See footnote  here Another cool area is the Coal Oil Point just off the coast. Check out how much is released vs. cars and trucks. Keep in mind that that's volatile HC's, not CO2. South California still has plenty of oil producing potential but it's locked in a lock box.
Yes it does. I always thought La Brea was fascinating. A few ice age bison fell in there, but there are far more predators than prey in the pits. They just could not resist the struggling prey. The theory on how those giant ice age animals got killed off remains a mystery. I cannot imagine that Columbian Mammoths and American Mastodons were push overs with saber tooth cats, cave lions, and short faced bears roaming the American hinterland. The idea that Clovis hunters wiped them out in North America, but mega fauna survived in Africa and Asia does not make sense.
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