According to the Sacramento.cbs.local.com, 9/22/13, California Governor Jerry Brown Friday signed tough regulations into law governing the use of fracking off the California coast. Fracking is a process of using chemicals, including acid, to break open rocks and shale so that oil will be released. Fracking also involves the usage of water and sand to extract oil from rocks and shale. The process has been very controversial for years because of the high risk to the environment in extracting the oil from the rocks and shale.
Governor Brown signed the highly debated bill by State Senator Fran Pavley, (Dem-Aurora Hills) into law over the objections of strong environmental lobbyists who were calling upon him to halt fracking altogether. Brown said that the bill
establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements"
Brown also said that he would be re-visiting the issue of fracking next year and would attempt to make additional changes in an effort to clarify the new requirements. With safety and environmental concerns in mind, Brown promised to direct the Department of Conservation to issue fracking permits based upon geology and environmental factors. Brown claimed that this action would result in "more particularized" reviews of specific fracking applications submitted by those seeking permits.
Under the new legislation, which takes effect in January 2014, oil companies will be required to test groundwater and notify landowners before drilling. Brown also ordered the State to study the risks of fracking and related practices, such as breaking rocks apart to extract oil, by January of 2015.
Brown also signed another bill by State Senator Lois Wolk (Dem-Davis) increasing the bonds that oil and gas drillers must post before beginning the fracking process. The bonds have not been increased since 1998.
To receive an email each time this author publishes an article, click on the word, "Subscribe" above