Fracking Moves Forward in California

by Greg Pollowitz

Even Governor Moonbeam won’t ban fracking. From “Energy in Depth”:

California Governor Jerry Brown, a leading advocate of renewable energy and environmental protection, recently signed SB 4, which included the strictest regulations on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the United States. Most important, however, is what SB 4 intentionally didn’t include: a ban or moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, because it is a fundamentally safe technology.

SB 4 – sponsored by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), one of the most high-profile environmental advocates in Sacramento — was ultimately so broad in its reach, going far beyond issues related to fracking, that the oil and gas industry did not support the legislation. The industry has, however, been supportive of the state’s ongoing regulatory process, and it did support many elements of SB 4, particularly those that satisfy the public’s desire for more information about the process. Those include advance notice, mandatory disclosure of the constituents of fracturing fluid, and ongoing monitoring, among many others.

Editorial boards across the state supported SB 4, emphasizing that it provides strong environmental protection while encouraging economic growth.  As the Santa Rosa Press Democrat put it, “Pavely’s bill offers California an opportunity to find an appropriate balance between environmental protection and resource development. That’s a compromise worth working for.” The Santa Cruz Sentinel said, “Environmentalists should be glad SB 4 creates the toughest fracking laws in the nation — and knock off the divisive calls for the governor to veto it.” And the Modesto Bee explained that banning “fracking” would only force us to be more reliant on imported energy.

The rest here.

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