“Poised on the edge of an oil boom, California now has at least
a modest set of new rules to control a promising but uncertain
technology that taps one of the country’s biggest pools of
“A bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing – which injects a brew
of sand, water and chemicals to break up rock formations to
extract oil and gas – cleared the Legislature and will go to
“Some level of regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
is preferable to none. Except if the helpful aspects are canceled
out by more problematic ones. That is the case with SB 4, passed
by the Assembly on Wednesday. It goes back to the state Senate
for final vote, and we hope it’s stopped there. If not, Gov.
Jerry Brown should veto it.”
“UPDATE: The Senate approved SB 4 on a 28-8 vote Wednesday
night. The measure now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has
said through a spokesman that he will sign the bill.
“When they’re getting grief from all directions for something
they’ve aired or written, reporters like to console themselves
with the old saying, ‘If you’re making both sides mad, you must
be doing something right.’
“In the Legislature’s upper house, the Capitol’s most
well-known environmental legislator has her hands full with
Senate Bill 4, an effort to impose new regulations and
reporting of drilling for oil through the use of hydraulic
fracturing, or ‘fracking.’ …
“The most recent amendments include efforts to clarify what
layers of regulation would be required for an oil producer to
obtain a fracking permit. But some environmental groups
argue that would only fast-track the permits — an
“Legislation by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and
Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, would allow the oil extraction
technique known as fracking to continue, but with strict
“The oil industry is objecting, as are some environmental
groups including the Sierra Club, which wants a total ban, not
regulation. But other environmentalists see the wisdom of
Senate Bill 4. The bill would impose a level of scrutiny found
in no other state.
From The Sacramento Bee, a commentary by John T. Young Jr.:
“If fully tapped, the Monterey shale could be a game-changer for
California’s energy portfolio, as well as the broader statewide
economy. … But tapping this kind of oil supply isn’t easy,
especially in a state like California, where resources are so
“Democrat Fran Pavley’s oil fracking regulation bill is one of
the most significant and controversial that the Legislature is
fighting over in the final days of its 2013 session, scheduled
to adjourn Sept. 13. …
“Mix the topics of oil, water, toxic chemicals and acid
together and you get a volatile political brew.”
“Los Angeles City Council members Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin
are calling for a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic
fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ which is used by energy companies to
extract hard-to-reach oil.
“In a prepared statement Tuesday, the councilmen called
fracking and its related processes a “major threat” to the
city’s local water supply, air quality and private property.
“A coalition of more than 100 environmental and political
activist groups is denouncing oil fracking legislation as too
weak and calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to order an immediate halt
to the controversial drilling practice. …
“They also oppose legislation moving through the Legislature by
“Fracking hasn’t unleashed an oil production boom in
California, at least not yet.
“Could acid? …
“State Sen. Fran Pavley has included acidizing in a bill that
initially focused on regulating fracking. Her bill, SB4, would
require companies to obtain a specific permit from the state
before acidizing or fracking a well.”
“Environmental and liberal activist groups are split over a
pending pioneering bill that would regulate the controversial
oil-extraction technique known as fracking.
“Legislation by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) would, for
the first time in the nation, require oil companies to disclose
details of the chemicals, locations and procedures involved
with hydraulic fracturing and related ‘well-stimulation’
“A recent series of reports have detailed fracking in the
Pacific Ocean, prompting California lawmakers to disseminate
letters asking the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and California Coastal
Commission to investigate.
“The state Coastal Commission responds today, with deputy
director Alison Dettmer discussing offshore fracking during a
commission meeting in Santa Cruz.