Sound rules for fracking
Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 4:31 p.m.
This editorial is from the Los Angeles Daily News:
Energy companies dream of setting off a 21st-century Gold Rush, bringing jobs and riches to a region now suffering from high unemployment. California has a golden opportunity to help meet the nation’s energy needs while enacting model legislation for other states to follow. But the experiences of Pennsylvania, New York and Texas provide a wealth of knowledge about fracking’s considerable risks to
Gov. Jerry Brown has gotten off to a terrible start. The draft rules he has released are ridiculously inadequate. They fail the primary test, which is to protect the integrity of the state’s water supply
Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that injects chemicals under high pressure into the ground to free oil and gas from rock formations. The drillers prefer not to disclose the chemicals they use, arguing that their formulas are trade secrets. But secrecy also shields them from responsibility for damage the chemicals might do to water supplies. Brown’s draft rules allow that absurdity.
At least eight states, including Colorado, Pennsylvania and Texas
Fortunately, some legislators, including Fremont Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski and Santa Monica Sen. Fran Pavley, are arguing for the public’s right to know what’s being pumped into the ground. They believe water quality tests should be done
It isn’t only drinking water at stake. The Monterey Shale
Energy producers have known about the Monterey Shale since 1969, but only in the last decade has technology made it profitable to go after the 15.4 billion barrels of oil. Hence the need for new regulations.
The Monterey Shale could produce enough oil to meet the entire nation’s energy needs for about three years. There are many benefits to be gleaned and fortunes to be made, but this oil is not our permanent energy salvation, and reaching it is not more important than protecting California’s water. That should be the governor’s main concern.
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