After combing through a decade’s worth of Pennsylvania birth records, researchers have found that pregnant women living within two-thirds of a mile of a hydraulic fracturing well were 25% more likely to give birth to a worryingly small infant than were women who lived at least 10 miles outside that zone during pregnancy.
While Measure Z’s restrictions on Monterey County oil and gas operations has been stayed due to a pending lawsuit, the county Planning Commission appeared to send a message to the fossil fuel industry anyway on Wednesday. … Under Measure Z approved by the voters in November last year, new oil and gas wells are prohibited along with enhanced extraction techniques and land uses in support of wastewater impoundment and injection, after a phase-out period.
During the U.S. Climate Action Pavilion in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 11, Gov. [Jerry] Brown presented America’s Pledge report detailing how U.S. cities, states and businesses will take action on climate targets it set forth in the Paris Agreement. … But Brown was interrupted by members of the Native American community speaking against his support of fracking and contending that his policies have hurt low-income communities.
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — have pushed for a statewide moratorium on the controversial oil production technique. With those efforts stalled in the state legislature, activists are taking the fight to the county level.
States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional drilling method could be to blame, especially the wells where the industry disposes of its wastewater.
“Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America’s drilling boom, according to an Associated Press review that shows wide state-by-state disparities in safety checks.”
“The state Senate on Wednesday failed to muster the votes needed to set a moratorium on the oil drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, until a study determines that it does not pose a health risk for the public.”
“An effort to halt the oil extraction process known as fracking failed in the California Senate as lawmakers rejected a bill that would have banned the practice until a state-commissioned study proves it is safe.”
From the Monterey County Herald, in a commentary by Bob Martin:
“… The truth is, hydraulic fracturing is a safe and proven energy extraction technique that has been used without incident for more than half of a century in California, and arbitrary bans on oil production threaten our state’s energy independence.”
From the Sacramento Business Journal Morning Edition blog:
“Lawmakers in the state Senate will decide this week on a law that would halt fracking in California until state government officials deem it safe – a move that could prevent the creation of some 195,000 jobs, according to figures provided by the oil industry.”
“The fierce debate over “fracking” in California grew louder Wednesday with a new report that drastically reduced the estimate of oil that existing technology could extract from the state’s massive underground reserve.”
“Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national ‘black gold mine’ of petroleum. … It had been seen as an enormous bonanza, reducing the nation’s need for foreign oil imports through the use of the latest in extraction techniques, including acid treatments, horizontal drilling and fracking.”
“Donning hazardous material suits and carrying signs, more than a dozen anti-fracking protesters turned up at the California Coastal Commission meeting in Inverness Thursday to ask the regulatory agency to outlaw the practice.”
“Enemies of fracking have a new argument: drought. … The drought, combined with a recent set of powerful earthquakes, has provided the momentum for about a dozen local governments across California, the third-largest oil producing state, to vote to restrict or prohibit fracking in their jurisdictions, as concerns over environmental effects and water usage have grown.”