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Action on a Bill Curbing Impacts from Natural Gas Fracking

Jane and All,

I will wait then to write the letter of support but really we must do something here and even if we just get basics on the book, it can be strengthened with litigation or amendment. I have pasted below the “fact sheet” his office sent me. Keep in mind that 1-5 million gallons of water and 50,000 gallons of chemicals go in each well. With Wyoming and Pennsylvania as example, there are 100,000 permits in process for these 2 states alone. I am not sure how many permits we have going here but when they ruin their water supply, you know where they will come for more….Northern California. Add to that only a fraction is ever recovered, we need to act on something and this is all I see so far.

Thank Howard for his work. I also attach my brief report on the practice that I used for my report Wednesday for those not attending the meeting.

Janus

AB 591 (Wieckowski)

Regulation of Oil and Gas Production using Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) 

PROBLEM 

Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) involves the underground injection of water, chemical additives, and proppants (such as sand or ceramic beads) at extremely high pressure to induce fractures in underground geologic formations. This stimulates the flow of gas or oil and increasing the volume that can be recovered from shales and other formations with low permeability.

Fracking has been conducted in various locations throughout the state inc

luding Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles counties as a means to extract oil and gas and to “restimulate” older wells to increase or regenerate production. Industry publications indicate that fracking is likely to increase significantly in the future as rising oil and gas prices drive this technology forward.

Despite regulatory authority to do so, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) indicates that it does not  regulate fracking and is therefore  unable to identify where and how often fracking occurs. Fracking uses a variety of chemicals, some of which are known toxins, as well as large volumes of water. These chemicals include diesel fuel and ethylbenzene (known carcinogens) and ethylene glycol (a chemical associated with birth defects, female and male infertility, menstrual disorders).

EXISTING LAW

Public Resources Code 3213 -3217 requires that oil producers maintain “a careful and accurate log, core record, and history of the drilling of the well.” However, for unknown reasons, DOGGR has not required the submission of any information about fracking and consequently, information about this drilling technique is unavailable to the public. 

SUMMARY

This bill would require that operators include information related to the process of fracking

in the drilling histories that are currently required by law.

The bill requires operators to disclose:

1.  The chemicals used in the operation.

2. How much water was used and the source of that water.

3. Any radiological components or tracers that were injected into the well and a description of the recovery method, if any, for those elements or tracers, the recovery rate, and disposal method for recovered components or tracers.

The bill requires DOGGR to add to their existing online data base the location of any well where fracking has occurred.

STATUS 

4/25 – Passed Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a vote of 5-3.

5/27 – Passed Appropriations 10-5.

6/01 – Passed Assembly 50-23.

6/14 – Passed Senate Natural Resources 5-3

6/27 – Senate Environmental Quality 5-1

8/15 – To be heard in Senate Appropriations

SUPPORT

Association of California Water Agencies

Alameda County Water District

Environmental Working Group (Sponsor)

Earthworks (co-sponsor)

California Water Association

Clean Water Action

Coastal Protection Network

Environment California

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Natural Resources Defense Council

Planning and Conservation League

Rural Coalition of Sothern Monterey County

Sierra Club California

OPPOSITION

American Chemistry Council

California Independent Petroleum Operators (unless amended)

Western States Petroleum Association (unless amended)

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact: Ben Turner

Phone:  (916) 319-2020

Email: ben.turner@asm.ca.gov

Hi Larry and all–

Howard is looking into this and is disappointed to find that the original bill has been weakened substantially over what was originally proposed.  It’s no better now thatn in Texas — although something is better than nothing.
Is it still possible to get strengthening amendments?  Is there still time?
Jane

Regarding the Fracking issue and AB 591 now in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the following nine names are members of that committee.  If you go below and click on the website address, you will get clickable names for more contact information, including email addressess.

–Larry

Appropriations Committee meets every Monday at 11:00 A.M. in Room 4203.

JURISDICTION: Bills that are subject to Joint Rule 10.5 and are not referred to the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. Bills that constitute a state-mandated local program.

Members

Senator Christine Kehoe (Chair)
Senator Mimi Walters (Vice Chair)
Senator Elaine Alquist
Senator Bill Emmerson
Senator Ted W. Lieu
Senator Fran Pavley
Senator Curren Price
Senator Sharon Runner
Senator Darrell Steinberg

Addresses & Staff

Staff Director: Bob Franzoia
Consultants: Katie Johnson, Brendan McCarthy, Mark McKenzie, Jolie Onodera, Maureen Ortiz and Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez
Assistants: Jennifer Douglas and Lydia McKim
Phone: (916) 651-4101
Room: 2206

http://sapro.senate.ca.gov/