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Legislators Trying to Temporarily Stall California Fracking

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Sacramento, CAA California fracking lawsuit initiated at the beginning of the year seeks enforcement of existing California laws that require oversight of an increasingly controversial method of oil and gas extraction. The lawsuit, filed January 24 in Alameda County Superior Court, suggests the required oversight is not happening and that existing laws are not properly enforced.

Meanwhile, according to The San Francisco Chronicle (3/21/13), a bill from California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys) would block the process of fracking until at least 2018 while a committee comprised of state officials, environmentalists, farmers and representatives from the oil industry undertake an exhaustive study.

A separate bill, submitted by Senator Fran Pavley, would allow fracking to continue while such a fracking study is compiled. But the continuation of fracking hinges on a report completed and submitted by the end of 2015. Were that not to happen, then sanctions on fracking would ensue.

Fracking, which is properly known as hydraulic fracturing, is a process designed to release oil and natural gas reserves trapped in underground shale. Water and chemicals are pumped into drilled holes under intense pressure, fracturing the shale and releasing the oil and gas stores.

The controversy comes from allegations that fracking negatively impacts area wells and groundwater.

“What I’m trying to do is say to the oil companies, ‘Look, if there’s never been a problem with fracking, if it’s safe, you need to prove that to the public,’ ” said Pavley, D-Agoura Hills Los Angeles County, in comments published in The Chronicle.

According to the California fracking report, there are as many as 15 million barrels of petroleum trapped amidst the Monterey Shale. And while the fracking process has not seen the kind of traction felt in other areas of the US, nonetheless there have been 759 wells that have been fracked in recent years.

That number is expected to grow, given the potential revenue that can be derived from fracking. A study last month from the University of Southern California estimated that developing the Monterey Shale for hydraulic fracturing could add $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue by 2020.

“A looming fracking boom threatens to transform California, creating serious pollution risks to our air, water and climate,” said Vera Pardee, in a release issued by the Center for Biological Diversity. “Existing rules clearly cover fracking, but state officials don’t regulate or even track this dangerous way of extracting oil and gas. The state needs to stop ignoring the law and start protecting our environment.”

According to the release, there have been more than a thousand reports of water contamination throughout the US allegedly due to fracking. YouTube and social media sites are rife with images of homeowners setting fire to the water flowing from their kitchen faucets. Other communities take exception to fracking activities occurring within close proximity to schools and communities in general.

One advantage for Californians has to do with a change to the federal Safe Water Drinking Act of 2005 that exempted fracking federally. However, no such exemption exists in California. To that end, the state’s existing oil and gas regulations govern all forms of underground injection.

Under California law, fracking oil and gas companies are required to disclose fracking chemicals, as well as the undertaking and disclosure of engineering studies and tests in an effort to track potential migration of fracking chemicals beyond the fracturing envelope.

Critics say this oversight isn’t happening, and want existing regulations enforced. “At present, industry fracks whenever and however it deems fit, and that practice has to stop,” said Pardee, in a news release. “State regulators must implement the requirements that are already in place to provide better protection for the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

“State regulators don’t seem concerned about fracking’s dangers,” said Patrick Sullivan of the Center for Biological Diversity, in a news release, “so it’s up to lawmakers to stop oil companies from polluting our air, contaminating our water and undermining our fight against climate change.”

Plaintiffs in fracking lawsuits have alleged contaminated groundwater and health issues stemming from fracking chemicals that have migrated into their wells and drinking water underground.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Seeing as how both former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and Pres. Obama’s science advisor, John P. Holdren, testified before Congress that there has never been a single proven case of contaminated drinking water due to hydraulic fracturing, despite the technique being used more than one million times, I think the burden of proof is on you to show that hydraulic fracturing is unsafe!

Posted by

on
Our water is a poorer quality, home prices have dropped, there is more dust and sand in the air.

Posted by

on
Any serious, well informed, and fair environmentalist knows that replacing coal burning with natural gas is job one for improving air quality around the world. Coal pollutants include particulates, mercury, sulfuric acid, nitrogen oxides, etc. It is responsible for millions of early deaths yearly. Natural gas is the cleanest fuel there is, aside from hydrogen. It is the cheapest, and the most abundant.

Producing and using natural gas is the best solution for base power, in conjunction with solar, wind, geothermal etc. There is plenty of natural gas all around the world, and it can be accessed with new and future technology.
http://www.worldwatch.org/sy The main concern for environmentalists worldwide should be to cut the use of coal, especially in antiquated plants. Here are the top ten coal burners: http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/what-are-the-top-ten-coal-burning-countries-on-the-planet-whos-1.html Dead link. Just search their site. China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined.
It is possible for the whole world to drastically cut coal burning and benefit the health of all. Coal pollution travels around the world. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c02c.html

stem/files/184_natural_gas_FINAL.pdf
http://green.autoblog.com/2013/01/23/scientists-sound-alarm-on-soots-effect-on-global-warming/

http://www.naturalgasamericas.com/study-natural-gas-is-much-needed-tool-to-slow-global-warming-7383

Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is used to make many products. It will bring jobs and boost our economy. It lowers CO2 emissions, and pollution. Over 6,200 select natural gas story links on my free blog. An annotated and illustrated bibliography of live links, updated daily. The worldwide picture of natural gas. Read in 79 nations. ronwagnersrants . blogspot . com

101 Useful references on natural gas: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19Yf0MWpo91vrlu-mmJtjB1ERukjJo5W41oi4RZVQBug/edit

Posted by

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PROVE it's safe!!!!!!!!!

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