“A group of 21 scientists is applauding California’s efforts to allow the fracking of its shale oil reserves, arguing the process is a safe way to improve the economy and reduce foreign oil dependence.”
“Water samples collected at Colorado sites where hydraulic fracturing was used to extract natural gas show the presence of chemicals that have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer, scientists reported Monday.
“The study, published in the journal Endocrinology, also found elevated levels of the hormone-disrupting chemicals in the Colorado River, where wastewater released during accidental spills at nearby wells could wind up.”
From the Monterey County Herald, in a commentary by Ed Mitchell:
“Two years ago, a major competitor to farmers and vintners came into Monterey County when the first fracking permit went to the Board of Supervisors. I was there that day and have been working since to get a fracking ordinance established in Monterey County.”
From the Los Angeles Daily News, in a commentary by Thomas Elias:
“There is little doubt an economic bonanza awaits California beneath the surface of the Monterey Shale, a geologic formation stretching from San Benito County south along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley right into parts of Southern California.
“One study put the possible job-creating potential of this oil and gas trove at more than 20,000.”
“Even as Gov. Jerry Brown faces heckling for accepting the Obama administration view that hydraulic fracturing is a relatively safe tool for energy exploration, there are new signs that the fossil-fuel revolution first chronicled by The New York Times in 2011 is picking up speed.”
“America’s recent energy boom has left little breathing room for solar and wind, as low prices for natural gas make it economically challenging for innovators to move U.S. utilities toward the wider use of renewable sources of energy.
“Fracking, the controversial drilling technique that is driving America’s energy boom, has been around for decades. But it was only in the last decade that the process of blasting underground rocks with water and chemicals was refined enough to deliver a long sought oil and gas bounty and stir a furious debate over its health and environmental consequences.”
“The International Energy Agency predicts the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by the year 2015. America already has become the largest producer of natural gas. …
“Questions remain about how quickly the U.S. fields will decline and whether the boom can last.
“Rather suddenly, the center of gravity of global energy production has swung toward the Americas as shale oil and gas fields in North Dakota and Texas hum with activity. America is moving to the fore as the world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas.
“That change will reorder the globe in ways large and small.”
“Buried beneath the world’s oceans and the Arctic permafrost lies a global energy source that many think might dwarf today’s fracking revolution: huge reservoirs of natural gas trapped in ice crystals.
“They’re called methane hydrates and are sometimes known as ‘flammable ice.’”
From the Pacifica Tribune, in a commentary by John Blanchard:
“Hydraulic fracturing sounded like a good idea when I first heard of it a couple a years ago. …
“The California Legislature and Governor Brown are still struggling with how to regulate this process that has the potential to contaminate ground water sources and release more CO2 into the atmosphere that previously would have been contained underground.”