***NOTE: the bill will be held in "suspense" for a short time in this committee before a vote - the economic impact will be examined.***
"Take a picture of this it doesn't happen often" said the Kathryn Phillips, Director of Sierra Club of California as she shared the table with Western STates Petroleum Association and California Independent Petroleum Association in opposition to the only bill alive in the State to regulate fracking.
Notes on comments in SUPPORT of SB4:
Ventura County Board of Supervisors, sends representative to support SB4.
Speakers in support of bill - Water district groups and family farm alliances/ LA community college district/ Women League of Voters/ American Lung Association/SoCoast Air Quality Control District/ California Grange... more coming.
Witnesses in OPPOSITION:
Western States Petroleum Association, California Independent Petroleum Association
"Most happening in very remote areas in Bakersfield... " stated by rep from CIPA.
(we keep hearing that line - that most fracking is occurring in one field in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield area fields do currently produce the most oil and it would follow that they are fracking more than other areas, BUT we are seeing many new leases signed, and a jump in operators getting their ducks in a row as they prepare to access the Monterey Shale. Alsot SB4 also handles acidization which according to Pavley is being used on 8 in 10 wells in Ventura County)
Sierra Club in California actually is joining the oil companies in opposing the bill. They object to one provision - want more information about chemicals "must include quantities and concentrations."
"I have members who live in Bakersfield, members who know that aquifers know no boundaries." said Phillips.
Also in opposition: American Chemistry Council / Citizens from Butte Council - want fracking moratorium
Public comments in opposition want this bill to be stopped to allow for a moratorium NOW.
"You will be drinking this frack water before long. If you think you won't, you don't understand how water sheds work," from resident of Butte County.
Local Response from Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas CFROG.org:
Don't back down, this is the LEAST we can do"
State senator Fran Pavley's final remarks to the assembly appropriations committee following suggestions to change her bill to provide disclosure, regulation, and monitoring of all forms of well stimulation. SB 4 was placed in the suspense file for a week or so to allow for fiscal analysis of its impact on the general fund. (Pavley says it will be paid for by an increase in the 14 cent per barrel fee)
As expected, the oil industry and some of its legislative friends, called for the definition of well stimulation to be narrowed to cover only fracking. (hydraulic fracturing ) But as Pavley pointed out , acidization and other well stimulation techniques, NOT fracking are expected to be the methods of choice in California and they should also be covered since all could have a horrible effect if they leak into the groundwater basins. In the coming days there will be attempts to forge a compromise in amendments over the definition of well stimulation and other aspects that the oil industry doesn't like, such as the requirement to get permits.
Here is what you can do.
Call Senator Pavley and tell her she is right...don't back down.
Call Governor Jerry Brown and urge him to get back to his environmental roots and reject a narrow definition of well stimulation.
Call Appropriations committee Chairman Mike Gatto and tell him
SB 4 must cover all new methods to recover the shale oil.