A Heavyweight Fight Is About To Take Place To Decide Whether Fracking Will Be Allowed In California

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Three separate bills to ban fracking in California have been introduced in Sacramento, as the state  reckons sitting on top of enormous shale energy deposits.

Huffington Post’s Aaron Sankin reports the bills call for separate conditional moratoriums on the practice, which involves shooting huge volumes of water down into rock formations to free up oil and gas:

Assemblyman Richard Bloom’s (D-Santa Monica) bill would put a moratorium on fracking and require legislative action to lift it, while Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell’s (D-Los Angeles) bill would only lift the moratorium after an independent commission studies the practice’s environmental effects. Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian’s (D-Van Nuys) bill only applies to the area surrounding sources of groundwater that could theoretically be contaminated by the release of fracking wastewater. 

The trio of bills cleared Sacramento’s appropriations committee last week, Sankin says.

We’ve discussed how fracking has gotten way out ahead of available science on the practice’s health and environmental effects. While there are known cases of water being impacted by fracking, most drilling occurs without incident. 

Meanwhile, new studies show California’s Monterrey shale, which basically stretches L.A. to the Bay Area — could hold more than 15 billion barrels of oil. By one count developing the play could yield 3 million jobs. That’s putting pressure on Gov. Jerry Brown to pull the trigger to help his state, which despite a projected surplus still shows scars from the downturn.

Some of the most powerful environmental groups are based in California. But so are some of the country’s largest oil companies.

It’s gonna get bloody.

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