The Coastal Commission has said it will launch an investigation into reports of hydraulic fracturing - known as fracking - happening off the California coastline. The Associated Press reported that there have been 12 instances of offshore fracking in the past two decades that the Coastal Commission said it didn’t know about.
A complex maze of federal and state agencies means that it's hard to track down where and when fracking is happening. There have been various attempts to ban the method of extracting oil and gas because of environmental concerns. The oil industry says the method is safe and not damaging to the environment.
Should the state or federal government ban or heavily regulate offshore fracking? Are there separate environmental concerns for offshore versus onshore fracking? Should California take more initiative to find out what is happening in federal waters off the coast?
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, State Senator representing the 19th district in the Santa Barbara area
Richard Ranger, senior policy adviser for the American Petroleum Institute