More fracking jobs approved off the California coast

With AFP Story by Veronique DUPONT: US-E

Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

File photo: Federal regulators have approved three new fracking jobs off the California coast. The California Coastal Commission will meet today to discuss hydraulic fracturing.

Federal regulators have approved three new fracking jobs off the California coast, more than previously known.

The revelation comes as the California Coastal Commission meets Wednesday to discuss hydraulic fracturing, which pumps water, sand and chemicals deep into rock formations to free oil.

The federal government oversees fracking that occurs more than three miles off the coast. But commission staffers say the agency can review activities in federal waters.

The Associated Press last year documented at least a dozen instances of fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel, site of the disastrous 1969 oil platform blowout. The AP also found federal regulators approved a new project last March.

The federal agency in charge of offshore drilling says it has since approved three others. The oil industry insists the practice is safe.

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