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: March 24, 2017

TOP STORY

  • California air regulators have adopted a new strategy for curbing methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. The California Air Resources Board said in a statement Thursday night that the new guidelines are the most comprehensive of their kind in the country. (CBS Los Angeles)

 

CALIFORNIA 

State air board OKs Southern California smog clean-up plan
The Orange County Register | David Danelski

The California Air Resources Board voted to approve Southern California’s smog clean-up plan during its meeting in Riverside on Thursday, March 23. Board officials said that low- and zero-polluting trucks are essential if the plan is to succeed.

Strict Methane-Leak Guidelines Approved For California
CBS Los Angeles

California air regulators have adopted a new strategy for curbing methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. The California Air Resources Board said in a statement Thursday night that the new guidelines are the most comprehensive of their kind in the country, and come as the Donald Trump administration has backed away from pushing federal rules on methane.

PBF Energy explores bid for second California refinery as hedge against more troubles in Torrance
Daily Breeze | Nick Green

The owner of the Torrance refinery is seeking to acquire a second West Coast plant to make gasoline as a hedge against any future production disruptions at its troubled South Bay facility. A profit motive could be at the core of the move as well, because gas prices in California typically spike when any refineries in the state experience production problems. Thus, if the Torrance refinery was offline, another facility would allow PBF to sell gasoline at temporarily inflated prices.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

Scientists Question Risks Of Using Oilfield Wastewater On Food Crops
Breaking Energy | Dan Mueller

The engineers and scientists who study the oil and gas industry’s wastewater know the term “beneficial reuse” well. It’s the seldom-used technique of taking wastewater produced from an oil or gas well, treating it, and then using it for other purposes — like watering crops (including organic crops) or feeding livestock. It’s a rare practice that drought-stricken areas like California have used for a number of years, although little is known about associated health or safety risks since, usually, about 98% of wastewater is injected into disposal wells deep underground.

View from Porter Ranch: Metro must go electric to avoid more natural-gas risk: Guest commentary
Los Angeles Daily News | Patricia Larcara

The debate between gas and electric has been going on for decades. But for me, the choice is simple. As a resident of Porter Ranch for 28 years, the methane leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility left me shaken on many levels. Besides my health and my livelihood, what was most shaken was my faith that oil and gas companies would protect the neighborhoods where they operate, and put community health and safety above their bottom lines.

 

NATIONAL

North Dakota oil spill 3 times larger than first estimated
Associated Press | Blake Nicholson

A December oil pipeline spill in western North Dakota might have been three times larger than first estimated and among the biggest in state history, a state environmental expert said Friday. About 530,000 gallons of oil is now believed to have spilled from the Belle Fourche Pipeline that was likely ruptured by a slumping hillside about 16 miles northwest of Belfield in Billings County, Health Department environmental scientist Bill Seuss said. The earlier estimate was about 176,000 gallons.

Researchers Scour Urban Methane Leaks Via Google Street View Cars
Tech Times | Katrina Pascual

In a show of synergy between technology and environmental science, Google’s Street View program is now helping reveal leaks in urban natural gas pipelines to help reduce unintended emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A set of specially equipped Google Street View cars lets researchers from the Colorado State University detect invisible methane leaks lurking in natural gas lines beneath streets.

Court rejects green group’s claim of pro-pipeline bias at regulator
The Hill | Timothy Cama

A federal court has rejected arguments that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has an unacceptable bias in favor of natural gas pipelines. The lawsuit in the District Court for the District of Columbia was brought by Delaware Riverkeeper Network. It is the latest attempt by environmental groups to crack down on FERC, which has wide-ranging authority over interstate oil and natural gas pipelines.

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer tells Trump not to withdraw from Paris climate deal
Washington Examiner | John Sicilian

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, a confidant to President Trump on energy policy, is advising the White House not to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, but to use the U.S. standing under the accord to bolster its own economic and political interests. The lawmaker from the oil-rich state of North Dakota sent a letter to Trump Thursday advising him to change the U.S.’s pledge under the agreement instead of pulling out altogether.

Keystone Pipeline Gets Trump Approval as New Roadblocks Loom
Bloomberg | Meenal Vamburkar

The Keystone XL oil pipeline running from Canada to America’s heartland has been approved by President Donald Trump, with a promise from TransCanada Corp. to increase the amount of U.S. steel used in its construction. TransCanada, which has faced 8 years of political haggling over the pipeline’s future and its benefits, will buy 200 miles of pipe made with American steel, according to Terry Cunha, a spokesman. The new pipe replaces material repurposed to other projects, he said.

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