Fracking in California
In the last decade, oil companies have turned their attention to the Monterey Shale formation and are using fracking and other increasingly extreme measures to access California's remaining oil and gas reserves.   Read more.
Technology
In order to extract California's remaining fossil fuel reserves, the oil industry is experimenting with a number of new techniques that rely on proppants, corrosive acids and other potentially lethal chemicals.   Read more.
Health
Fracking uses hundreds of chemicals, including endocrine disrupters and hydrofluoric acid, many of which can have serious negative health effects, including infertility, birth defects and cancer.   Read more.
Safety
Accidents that occur during the transport of crude oil and the dangerous chemicals used in fracking are just one of many threats to the safety of workers and nearby communities.   Read more.
Economy
Recent analysis of oil industry data reveals that projections of oil production in the Monterey Shale formation are highly overstated. The data raises questions about whether increased oil production will create jobs or help California's economy.   Read more.
Water
California oil fields generate far more wastewater than oil and gas. This wastewater can be dangerous, as it often contains toxins, high salt content and traces of radioactive material.   Read more.
Seismology
There is extensive research showing that the injection of large volumes of fluid deep into the earth the can destabilize fault lines and trigger man-made earthquakes.   Read more.
Climate
California's remaining oil reserves contain some of the heaviest, most carbon intensive oil on the planet. Producing and refining this oil is expected to dramatically increase California's carbon emissions.   Read more.
Food
The Monterey Shale formation lies directly beneath some of California's most productive farmland and critical water sources. Extracting oil from this formation carries serious risks for soil and water contamination.   Read more.

Fracking Press Clips: January 20, 2017

TOP STORY

  • California Senate leader Kevin de León has set his sights higher than SB 350 and says now is the time to start thinking about 100% of California’s electricity coming from renewable sources. (Los Angeles Times)

 

CALIFORNIA 

It’s time to talk 100% renewable energy, California Senate leader says
Los Angeles Times | Chris Megerian

Two years ago, California Senate leader Kevin de León pushed through a law requiring the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. On Thursday, he said there was a mistake in the legislation, SB 350 — it didn’t go far enough. “We probably should have shot for the stars,” De León (D-Los Angeles) told The Times. California is moving faster than expected toward a clean energy future, he said, and officials should start thinking about policies requiring all electricity to come from renewable sources such as solar and wind.

West Coast Climate Hawks to Push Back Against Trump
Bloomberg BNA | Paul Shukovsky and Carolyn Whetzel

Companies hoping for less rigorous regulatory review under the Trump administration will likely be disappointed on the West Coast where Democrat-dominated governments, tribes and environmental activists are prepared to push back using a broad range of authorities.

Water board investigates Ojai oil tank fire
Ventura County Star | Cheri Carlson

A regulatory board charged with protecting water quality has ordered a company to show that it has cleaned up the site of an oil tank fire near Ojai. On Aug. 5, petroleum inside the storage tank caught fire at the oil lease on Santa Paula Ojai Road near Sisar Creek. The tank itself did not collapse, but fire exploded out of the top of the tank just after 8:30 a.m. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and several other local and state agencies investigated the fire. Last week, the water board issued an investigative order seeking records regarding the cleanup.

California Orders 475 Oilfield Wastewater Wells Closed
Natural Gas Intelligence | Richard Nemec

California energy officials said on Wednesday that they have ordered 475 underground injection control (UIC) wells shut down by Feb. 15. Operators using the targeted wells could face fines of up to $25,000 per day if they fail to shut them down, but industry groups in the state point out that there is no evidence that drinking water supplies were contaminated by the wells in question.

 

NATIONAL

Big Oil May Finally Get to Drill in the Arctic, But Is It Worth It?
Bloomberg Markets | Alex Nussbaum

Far above the Arctic Circle, one of the longest-running controversies in U.S. oil drilling is about to reignite. Bouyed by Donald Trump’s election, Republicans are pushing to allow oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the frigid wilderness in northern Alaska that’s been a political battleground for drillers and conservationists for decades. The prospects for industry look better than they have in years, with Republicans in control of Congress and Trump vowing to boost U.S. energy production.

Point/Counterpoint: Dissecting Trump’s Fracking Policy
Paste | Tom Burson

President Donald Trump, along with nearly the entirety of the Republican Party hopes to expand the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking. Most proponents of the practice—which includes numerous Republicans and Democrats—laud the practice for its reduction in atmospheric CO2 along with its potential to stimulate the economy. Conversely, many Americans—and many, many more countries around the world—see fracking as an environmentally derogatory practice that does nothing to inhibit climate change but rather hastens the problem and creates potentially permanent, damaging effects—including contaminated water.

Becoming earthquake country
Science Line | Mark D. Kaufman

In 1990, a group of Soviet scientists moved to Leonard, Oklahoma. They came as watchdogs, to ensure that the United States obeyed the nuclear Threshold Test Ban Treaty and did not secretly explode atomic bombs below ground. The Soviets needed a profoundly quiet place to observe vibrations in the region, because tremors might confuse their measurements. And in the United States, there were few places as seismically tranquil as Oklahoma.

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