“In some ways, Amish attitudes toward hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are as different from the outside world as their clothes and traditions. Instead of worries about air and water pollution, they’re focusing on people’s souls.”
“Last week, the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources passed Senate Bill 4, a bill by Sen. Fran Pavley that would establish a comprehensive regulatory program for oil and gas well stimulation, including acidification.
“Workers shuffled amid trucks and drilling equipment, preparing the [Shafter] site for hydraulic fracturing – fracking, for short – the controversial drilling method that has the potential to spark an economic boom in California and perhaps even free the state from foreign oil.
“Is hydraulic fracturing — used for more than 60 years to produce oil and natural gas — safe? … Interior secretaries and EPA heads have repeatedly said that fracking can be done, and is being done, so that it doesn’t present environmental or public health problems.”
“California state legislators on Tuesday told regulators and oil industry lobbyists they wanted more information about the use of acid to increase flows in wells in a technique that is used more often in the state than the controversial fracking method.”
The latest domestic energy boom is sweeping through some of the nation’s driest pockets, drawing millions of gallons of water to unlock oil and gas reserves from beneath the Earth’s surface. … In Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, the vast majority of the counties where fracking is occurring are also suffering from drought, according to an Associated Press analysis of industry-compiled fracking data and the U.S.
“A bill being considered by lawmakers in California may bring increased accountability to oil companies who engage in fracking. Senate Bill 4 passed in the Senate with a 29-11 vote and is now in the hands of the Assembly.”
“The legislative battle over more stringent regulation of a controversial method of extracting oil and natural gas in California is far from over. Lawmakers will discuss the issue once again this week.”
The state Senate has rarely seemed as confused as it appeared last Wednesday. On a 39-0 vote, senators OK’d a bill to limit obstacles to economic growth created by excessive regulations in the California Environmental Quality Act. But the same day, on a 27-11 vote, senators approved a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing for energy exploration in the state until Jan.