Fracking in California

California-Highway-1_edited-1Join us Monday, January 13, 2014, 7:30-9:00p for Environmental Concerns with Aria Cahir of the  Sierra Club speaking:  “Is Hydraulic Fracturing of the Monterey Shale Formation Creating the New California Gold Rush?”

California sits atop a 1,700-square-mile oil shale deposit that might be accessed by hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking. Fracking is a largely unregulated process that forces large amounts of water, sand, and an undisclosed mixture of chemicals into the ground, in order to extract petroleum.

On the national level, fracking for oil and gas is still largely exempt from some environmental laws like the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, with protection of air and water quality only possible at the state and local levels. In California, by the industry’s own estimate, more than 600 oil wells have been fracked in the last decade, with little oversight or monitoring.

The Monterey Shale formation stretches from northern San Joaquin into Los Angeles County. Nearly all oil already produced in California has come from the Monterey. It is not clear that fracking the Monterey is practical, but if so, fracked production from it could be very large indeed.

Our League Positions:  The LWV at both US and California levels has a strong position for transparency, full disclosure and protection of public lands; management of public land needs to be done as a finite resource, not as a commodity, as part of that protection.

We support disclosure to the public of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, strengthening regulations related to well-bore integrity as well as disposal of waste water.

In October, 2013, the LWVC joined with more than 100 other groups to urge the Bureau of Land Management to cancel all oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands in California until a broad analysis of the environmental impacts of drilling and fracking is completed.

Come join our discussion of this important issue.

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