Some news from our neighbor to the north: A group calling themselves Santa Barbara Water Guardians have gotten a proposition on the ballet that would ban "High-Intensity Petroleum Operations. High-Intensity Petroleum Operations include hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking), acid well stimulation treatments, cyclic steam injection and other types of oil and gas development that use advanced well stimulation technologies." in Santa Barbara County.
The group says the proposition will only apply to new projects.
For information supporting Prop P visit: http://www.sbcountywaterguardians.org
VCInFocus is awaiting a response from Western States Petroleum Association for the industry's take on Prop P.
LA city Council to vote on fracking ban - why has Ventura County Counsel told Sups they Can't do that?
The LA times has reported that the LA City Council is going to vote on a fracking ban within their city limits. Other cities around the nation have passed bans, Pittsburgh, PA being the first to do so by local city ordinance. The Pittsburgh city council was threatened with law suits, but none were ever filed. Last year, when the topic came up before the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, County Counsel advised them that they did not have the ability to ban hydraulic fracturing in the County. And Supervisor Steve Bennet indicated he did not "want to create a path to litigation" for the County.
This brings up issues of preemption and whether the State has total authority over the use of land within various boundaries, it can get a bit murky when you say that the STate has jurisdiction below the ground, the actual drilling part, but the County has authority for the surface.
Some communities on the east coast have found what might be a back door way to ban fracking by working to ban the transport of fracking waste within their city or county limits.
The LA Times Article:
First step toward fracking ban in L.A. taken by land use panel
By Emily Alpert ReyesFebruary 25, 2014, 8:25 p.m.
A Los Angeles City Council committee took a first step Tuesday toward banning hydraulic fracturing and other disputed practices tied to oil extraction, winning cheers and applause from a packed auditorium.
"Fracking and other unconventional drilling is happening here in Los Angeles, and without the oversight and review to keep our neighborhoods safe," Councilman Mike Bonin told the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.... read the full article here http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-los-angeles-fracking-ban-20140225,0,3908061.story#ixzz2uVVV21fa
From the press release:
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, State Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno(D-San Francisco) introduced legislation to protect the health and safety of Californians from the potentially harmful consequences of unconventional well stimulation and drilling.
SB 1132 calls for a moratorium on all forms of extreme well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and acidization until a comprehensive, independent and multi-agency review exploring the economic, environmental and public health impacts is complete. The study will also include evaluation of the adverse and disparate health impacts and environmental burdens affecting lower-income and minority communities. It further requires that Governor Jerry Brown
act in response to the study's findings to determine if and where fracking and other well stimulation may resume.
"There are a million Angelenos that live within a 5-mile radius of the largest urban oil field in the country," said Senator Mitchell, whose predominantly minority district includes the Inglewood Oil Field. "In my district vulnerable neighborhoods lie adjacent to drilling operations whose practices go largely unregulated. Complaints that residents are exposed to hazardous chemicals and toxic pollutants and which cause all kinds of health symptoms have been ignored. When industrial operations like fracking and acidization disproportionately impact minority communities, environmental justice has been breached and needs to be restored. SB 1132 will do that."
Current California law does not regulate either fracking or acidization. Of the more than 750 chemicals used in fracking, at least 29 of them are known to be harmful to human health. These chemicals, including hydrofluoric acid and benzene, have been linked to cancer, respiratory, developmental, and neurological problems, yet the practice of fracking and other potentially dangerous methods of oil and gas extraction continue to spread.
A bill passed last year requires an independent study of fracking. SB 1132 would expand its scope to include health risks posed by chemicals used in other forms of well stimulation, the safety of industry workers and nearby residents, as well as the state's water supply.
"A moratorium on fracking is especially critical as California faces a severe drought with water resources at an all-time low," said Senator Leno. "We are currently allowing fracking operations to expand despite the potential consequences on our water supply, including availability and price of water, the potential for drinking water contamination and the generation of billions of barrels of polluted water."
SOURCE CA Senator Holly Mitchell
Read the Bill HERE
Questions Remain Over Offshore AcidizingDiffering Definitions of Technical Terms May Explain Why Platform Holly Dispute Exists
Thursday, February 20, 2014by MATT KETTMANN (CONTACT)
Last week, one day after a report was released claiming that Venoco Inc. was using a technique known as matrix acidizing to stimulate production from the wells that it accesses from Platform Holly off the Goleta coast, the Carpinteria-based oil company issued a brief statement denying that it was using the process for extraction purposes. “Venoco does not hydraulically fracture or matrix acidize any wells on Platform Holly,” said Venoco spokesperson Lisa Rivas in an email. Instead, she explained that acid is used for cleaning the platform’s well bores, which has been done for several decades. “This is a process that has been used in onshore and offshore oil wells around the world for generations,” Rivas explained.
Read the full story: http://independent.com/news/2014/feb/20/questions-remain-over-offshore-acidizing/