Bill To Regulate Fracking Passes California State Assembly

Bill To Regulate Fracking Passes California State Assembly


SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - A hotly contested bill that would impose California's first regulations on fracking and other oil production practices passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, despite opposition from environmentalists and oil companies.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to crack rock formations and free up oil and natural gas. The technology makes it possible for oil companies to unlock California's vast Monterey Shale deposit, which is estimated to hold 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Under the bill, passed by a vote of 47-17, companies would be required to obtain permits for fracking as well as acidizing, the use of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals to dissolve shale rock. Oil company executives have previously said acidizing could be even more useful than fracking in getting at the Monterey Shale reserves.

The bill would also require notification of neighbors, public disclosure of the chemicals used, as well as groundwater and air quality monitoring and an independent scientific study.

The study would evaluate potential risks such as groundwater and surface water contamination, greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollution, seismic impacts, and effects on wildlife, native plants and habitat.

"There are still many unanswered questions about the use and impacts of fracking and acidizing, and it is in the interest of all Californians to monitor and regulate these practices," said state Senator Fran Pavley, an Aurora Hills Democrat who wrote the bill, SB 4. "Ultimately the oil industry, not the public, should be held accountable for the costs of these activities."

The bill was opposed by environmental groups that wanted to see an outright ban on fracking in the state.


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Geoffrey Mbaku | Sep. 13, 2013
The passage of this bill is good for the people and the economy of California. Hydraulic fracturing is the best way to recover the estimated 15 billions barrels of recoverable oil in the Monterey Shale. This means jobs and money for the people of California. Hydraulic fracturing is safe. Before it happens, environmental impact studies are done and every measure is taken to keep the air, water and soil from contamination. When the wellsite is drilled, the wellbore is lined with casings and cemented. This prevents oil and gas from contaminating underground fresh water aquifers and also prevents and sediments from the formation going into the drilled fluids. The water, additives and chemicals that are pumped down hole flow back up to the surface through the production tubing in a controlled manner. These are collected, safely treated and reused. Safety is the number one priority of oil companies and it is in their best interest to do all they can to protect the environment in the process of producing oil and natural gas. Geoffrey Mbaku Oil & Gas Production Operator Hydraulic Fracturing & Acidizing Halliburton Energy Services Duncan, OK

EODGHost | Sep. 13, 2013
More regulations in an already broken State. Lawmakers of "The Land of Fruits and Nuts" never learn. You have the most regulations, the highest taxes, the most liberals, the least amount of money, and quite obviously, the least amount of common sense. Its time for Kalifornia to fall into the ocean.

Omar Cantu | Sep. 13, 2013
I grew up in the oil and gas industry, so its a way of life for me. Fact of the matter is, oil and gas move the world economy. Most of the comments brought out by the media from the environmentalists, are sometimes very misdirected information and taken out of proportion, but its like the saying goes, " Dont judge a man until youve walked a mile in his shoes ", maybe several in this case.


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