Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Frowning on Fracking

blog frackingSanta Cruzans speak up about offshore fracking at Coastal Commission meeting

With the new knowledge that oil companies are using controversial fracking methods off the coast of Southern California to extract fossil fuels, the state's Coastal Commission will begin an investigation on the practice and determine how they can regulate it. 

About 30 people attended the commission’s Thursday, Aug. 15 meeting at the Santa Cruz County building to voice their concerns and call the state into action.

Oil companies are using fracking, which injects highly pressurized water mixed with sand proppants and hazardous but unknown chemicals into the ground to extract fossil fuels, and predominantly avoiding government regulation through trade secret loopholes, says Brian Segee, an attorney with Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara, who addressed the commission about its dangers.

He says fracking has been occurring in California for decades but that there is little knowledge about the chemicals' detrimental effects on the environment.

“Fracking is characterized by the fundamental lack of knowledge available,” Segee says.

Shooting the water down into the ground, where it opens up cracks that can contain resources, can also destroy geological formations, he says.

Off the coast of Santa Barbara, a number of oil platforms are using fracking methods, but due to the lack of state regulation, environmental agencies can do little stop it, nor do they even know all of the locations where it is taking place, says Emily Jeffers, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco who also spoke at the meeting.

Jeffers says the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) does not track, monitor or regulate fracking practices, and there is no compliance with national or environmental standards.

“At the state level,” she says, “it's just totally hands off.”

Another major concern is that the oil platforms doing the fracking produce hazardous contaminated water waste, which they in turn are discharging directly into the ocean, Segee says.

“It's causing long-lasting contamination in the sediments,” he says.

“The ocean is a big place, so the notion is often, 'dilution is the solution to pollution,'” he goes on. “But the studies [on fracking] are limited, and we're concerned there's real damage being done.”

Last year, Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) introduced Senate Bill SB 4, which would help to regulate hydraulic fracking and the information oil companies have to disclose about the activity.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by unrefracked, August 22, 2013
Here is an EPA document with a list of fracking chemicals they compiled up to 2012. It may give you an idea of what is meant by that.
http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/hf-report20121214.pdf#page=209
...
written by Freespirit22, August 19, 2013
Hmmm...."hazardous but unknown chemicals". That's pretty vague. How
do you know they're hazardous if you don't know what they are??

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?