WASHINGTON -- Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) called for a moratorium on offshore fracking in federal waters on Tuesday, requesting a comprehensive study of its environmental and public health impacts.
“I have been seriously concerned about offshore fracking since recent reports first brought it to light,” Capps said in a statement.
In a related letter to the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency calling for the moratorium and study, Capps cited records detailing at least 15 incidents of fracking in federal waters off California over the last two decades. She wrote that the activities had been approved with "overly broad and outdated plans" that did not adequately account for the risks.
Fracking involves injecting a mix of water, sand and chemicals underground to stimulate the release of fossil fuels. Onshore fracking, which has generated serious environmental debate itself, has been used extensively in the extraction of oil and gas from major shale formations in more than a dozen states.
Less is known about the impact of offshore fracking. "This is a significant data gap, and we need to know what the impacts are before offshore fracking becomes widespread," Samantha Joye, a University of Georgia marine scientist told the Associated Press.
November 18, 2013 - State regulators released draft rules Friday that, for the first time, would require oil companies to apply for permission to perform hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the controversial technique increasingly used by petroleum producers,and worry-some to protectors of the environment.
The proposed regulations call for a variety of measures ranging from groundwater monitoring and oil well pressure-testing, to public disclosure of chemicals used in fracking and other forms of well stimulation and notifying neighbors a month before fracking begins.
Please read this fabulous report by CFROG's own lawyer, Environmental Defense Center Staff Attorney Brian Segee.
DIRTY WATER: FRACKING OFFSHORE CALIFORNIA
The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) has announced the release of Dirty Water: Fracking Offshore California, a report providing the first comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) conducted from oil platforms located in federal waters off California's shores, and outlining a series of policy recommendations that the Obama administration should take in order to guard against an offshore drilling disaster involving fracking. California's offshore platforms are largely concentrated within the Santa Barbara Channel, renowned globally for its beauty, richness of wildlife, and overall health of the environment.
"The revelation that fracking is occurring off California's shores is an alarming surprise to everyone who cherishes our state's unparalleled and irreplaceable shoreline, particularly since federal regulators appear to have been largely unaware of the use of this dangerous technology from offshore oil platforms," stated Brian Segee, co-author of the report and EDC Staff Attorney. "If we are to avoid yet another offshore disaster like the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, it is imperative that the Obama administration implement an immediate moratorium on offshore fracking."
‘fracking’ and water scarcity problems reported by nonpartisan polling for California
This data report is especially important in Ventura County where residents and agriculture rely on ground water resources and not state water.
THE LATEST ON CALIFORNIA POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT – Public Policy Institute polling
Sacramento Bee, September 25, 2013 (excerpted from report, see link below)
Fracking: After months of contentious debate this year and the defection of some key environmental groups, the Legislature passed -- and the governor signed -- a bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That legislative push mirrors a high level of public concern, with 53 percent of both likely voters and adults oppose increased fracking in California, and a wide margin of respondents called for state regulation of fracking (56 percent of adults, 61 percent of likely voters).
Water: While more than half of Californians believe that water supply will be somewhat or very inadequate to accommodate demand in the next 10 years, respondents split on whether the best solution is building new water storage systems or focusing on water efficiency. Central Valley residents prized efficiency over construction; the opposite held true in the Inland Empire. A plurality of likely voters, 44 percent, favored paying for water projects via state bonds rather than through heightened taxes or user fees. That response takes on additional significance as lawmakers work to craft a twice-deferred water bond measure for the 2014 ballot.
Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/mt/mt-search.cgi?blog_id=41&tag=fracking&limit=20&IncludeBlogs=41#storylink=cpy