Will California regulate fracking?
San Francisco Chronicle | Cameron Scott
August 16, 2011
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Fracking is an increasingly controversial method of obtaining natural gas from deep within the earth. Business has been booming in the last few years, drawing scrutiny, but the practice, also known as hydraulic fracturing, isn’t new.
Even here in green-topian California, fracking has been going on since the 1960s. Yet the process — in which pressurized water and chemicals are injected into the earth, potentially contaminating water supplies — has gone completely unregulated and untracked.
A new bill introduced by Assemblymember Bob Weickowski (D – Fremont) would change that. The bill, AB 591, would require oil and gas producers to list the chemicals and identify the source and volume of water they use.
“The public has a right to know what chemicals are being injected into our environment,” said Jennifer Krill, executive Director of Earthworks, which co-sponsored the legislation with the Environmental Working Group. “In fact, this was exactly the conclusion reached by a federal advisory committee studying hydraulic fracturing just last week.”
A Senate vote on Wieckowski’s bill is expected by August 26.