Monday, June 25, 2012
Legislation that would ban the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" in California goes before a state Senate committee Tuesday. The process involves injecting a mixture of water and chemicals into underground wells to extract oil and gas.
Environmentalists worry those chemicals could contaminate water supplies. The oil and gas industry strongly disputes those claims.
Assemblywoman Betsy Butler is authoring legislation that would ban the process. She said the bottom line is that there isn't enough known about the process.
"We don't know what they're putting in the ground," said Butler. "We don't know if there have been any breaks in lines or fissures so we have to be ever vigilant and that's what government does. We regulate these kinds of practices so we have to make sure our people are safe."
A previous measure that would have required energy companies to notify nearby property owners before fracking could take place failed to pass the state senate.