AirTalk for May 7, 2013

Three bills seek to ban fracking temporarily

MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

US-Energy-Gas-Environment.Jeff Boggs, responsible for the drilling at Consol Energy poses infront of one of the company's Horizontal Gas Drilling Rigs exploring the Marcellus Shale outside the town of Waynesburg, PA on April 13, 2012. It is estimated that more than 500 trillion cubic feet of shale gas is contained in this stretch of rock that runs through parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Shale gas is natural gas stored deep underground in fine-grained sedimentary rocks. It can be extracted using a process known as hydraulic fracturing – or "fracking" – which involves drilling long horizontal wells in shale rocks more than a kilometre below the surface. Massive quantities of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the wells at high pressure. This opens up fissures in the shale, which are held open by the sand, enabling the trapped gas to escape to the surface for collection.

The controversial oil extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is again coming under scrutiny in California. Last week, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee okayed three measures that would place a moratorium on fracking until its environmental impacts are fully understood.

California is in the early stages of regulating fracking. And the fight over fracking in the state has been centered around the Monterey Shale in the San Joaquin Basin, which contains about 15 billion barrels of oil.

These three bills were not the first bills to make it out of committee this year, but they are the toughest. Last year, the California Legislature killed a proposed temporary ban on the practice.

 

Guests:

Holly Mitchell (D-Culver City), Assemblymember for California’s 54th district, with Culver City as its center. 

Tupper Hull, Vice President, Strategic CommunicationsWestern States Petroleum Association


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