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Bill To Ban Fracking in California Goes Before State Senate

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.

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Avatar for user '729Zoom'

729Zoom | July 4, 2012 at 12:34 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Betsy Butler's bill stipulates no "new" fracking can be done until the process can be regulated, which is MEANINGLESS.
1. the language doesn't stipulate guidelines, standards or minimum requirements for regulations and would allow "new" fracking as soon as ANY regulations are written, no matter how weak - even those those written by industry would qualify.
2. "Old" fracking (via permits for "reworked" wells that include frack packing) will not be affected so fracking will NOT be stopped.
Citizens need a REAL moratorium (NO new or old fracking until the practice can be scientifically proven will do no harm first) and a BAN if it can't be proven safe. Unfortunately, we have politicians slow walking and caving to PXP and other oil and gas companies while pretending to protect citizens.

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Avatar for user 'ZERObama'

ZERObama | February 21, 2013 at 10:10 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate Butler's bill, but her contention that "there isn't enough known about the process" is either a politically expedient example of posturing, or sheer naiveté. Plenty is known about the extreme hazards of tracking, such as are presented here


/ among hundreds of published articles just in the past year on this environmentally lethal practice. Fracking should be halted immediately, and never given another chance to be resurrected. Anyone who can rationalize permanently contaminated ground- and surface water, human deaths, destruction of soils, agriculture, and wildlife habitat for the profits of corporations is indeed a very sick individual. Fracking has no absolutely no place in California or on the planet, and if politicians force citizens to take a militant stand against their complicity in the "right" to profit over the inalienable rights of individuals and collective human health and safety, then that's a war that will necessarily be waged against the forces of death and destruction.

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