In so many ways, the Monterey Shale is nothing less than California’s second gold rush.
Supervisor Foy is clearly in support of hydraulic fracturing in Ventura County. He says it's due to to jobs and economic benefits. California does have an assessment on each barrel (about 14.06 cents according to the State oil & gas website) but does not have a severance tax on oil, as other states including Texas have. There is a bill proposed that would add such a tax on each barrel extracted, but state senate aids, wishing to remain anonymous, say such a bill is unlikely to pass due to lack of Republican support for such a bill. A severance tax on oil could increase the revenue California would see from a boom involving fracking.
Foy also says that fracking involves the injection of "water and sand." That leaves out the chemicals. In the 13 wells that have been voluntarily reported on frackfocus.org there were over 20,000 gallons of chemicals injected underground along with the water and sand. Even Halliburton, the company that developed fracking in the 40's does not shy away from declaring that chemicals are involved.
The USC study that Foy refers to was partially funded by Western States Petroleum Association, which currently has an essay on their site "a cautionary tale for California," warning about negative effects of taxing the oil and gas industry.
Fracking is currently unregulated in California. The State does have discussion draft regs out and is in the process of conducting public workshops as it prepares to begin the formal rule making process, which is expected to take one and a half years.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors will hear a report from the County CEO today, Tuesday, April 9th at 2pm, it is a public meeting. And there will be public comment.