Fracking Workshop

Fracking workshop set for Tuesday

A workshop on the oil and natural gas production method of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be held noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Aguajito Road.

The workshop is open to the public and is being held by the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.

The purpose of the workshop is to get input on a “discussion draft” of state regulations that the agency hopes to have in place within about 18 months. The draft is available at CA fracking documents

The group Progressive Democrats of America will hold a protest outside the Hilton from 4 to 6 p.m.

I am planning to attend at least part of this meeting tomorrow, and busy educating myself before hand. I have read the proposed regs, the background info, the FAQs sheet, and the general information post. The first three are in PDF, so they can be downloaded and saved in iBooks for marking and highlighting. I would suggest that anyone interested in the potential impact, if any, of HF in the Salinas Valley, near Jolon, on the water we drink here in Big Sur, get as familiar as possible. I am finding high school chemistry, only a vague self-education on geology, little hydrology other than to know how it affects the highway and how much my spring produces, to be wholly inadequate to understand this issue. But I am trying.

9 thoughts on “Fracking Workshop

  1. I am disheartned how many of the people in political office here in Monterey County want to go forward with fracking in our area. Are they even using their heads? We are already a high level earthquake area, we have problems with salt water intrusion in the Salinas Valley, and Monterey Bay is a US Government protected Sancuary. Big Sur and the South Coast are a jewels as well as San Juan Batista/Hollister plus the Pinacles. Yet all the places i’ve mentioned are areas they want to frack in. CRAZINESS!!!

  2. I am NOT a supportor of fracking–but I think as many people as possible ought to attend this workshop to learn what’s being “said” and THEN everyone ought to find out precisely what has happenend to places where fracking has been allowed. Be careful of the science spins of those who claim it’s ‘safe’ for the environment. If you’ve no science background then this might be a steep learning curve. But everyone ought to do their very best to get educated and accurately informed ASAP because once the damage is done–well, let’s just say that what took thousands of years to create will be very difficult to save/rescue/recreate. Good luck.

  3. I don’t think it is the people in political office here in Monterey, it is BLM, a federal agency, over which Monterey County has little control, that is behind the leasing of land for gas and oil development.

    bigsurkate, on a mountain top in Big Sur

  4. Do your homework. There’s a lot of phoney science being thrown around. Hopefully what’s best for us will prevail and leave out the politics.

  5. Why poison ground water? No eyes are underground, no matter what the level of education. Just say NO. Common sense is beyond politics.

  6. I’m saying there are studies that do not poison ground water and from the Obama administration former Interior Secretary who is not kind to environmental issues. The third paragraph is what I’m talking about. Drinking water is ABOVE the fracking levels. Get a grip.

    “There’s a lot of hysteria that takes place now with respect to hydraulic fracking, and you see that happening in many of the states. … My point of view, based on my own study of hydraulic fracking, is that it can be done safely and has been done safely hundreds of thousands of times.”

    Ken Salazar, President Obama’s Interior Secretary 2/15/2012

    “We know that natural gas can safely be developed, and to the credit of the industry there are many companies that are leaning into this challenge and promoting best practices for safer and more efficient production. That’s not always widely noticed or appreciated, but it’s a fact. … [The underlying commitment by industry to continuously improve and adopt effective practices as technology evolves is something our administration applauds.”

    White House Energy and Climate Adviser Heather Zichal, 5/14/2012

    “There have been fears that hydraulic fracturing fluid injected at depth could reach up into drinking water aquifers. But, the injection is typically done at depths of around 6,000 to 7,000 feet and drinking water is usually pumped from shallow aquifers, no more than one or two hundred feet below the surface. Fracturing fluids have not contaminated any water supply and with that much distance to an aquifer, it is very unlikely they could.”

    Mark Zoback, Stanford University geophysics professor, adviser to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, 8/30/2011

  7. Sorry, I guess I should have said that Ken Salazar is definitely kind and sympathetic to environmental issues. He is the one who stopped all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill in April 2010 even though the area had now recovered tremendously.

  8. Judi, some concerns are potentialities, granted, but supported by the language of Professor Zorback of Stanford … “Typically” at 6-7,000 feet, leads one to question the atypical well. Is it at 1,000 feet? How many are atypical, and when and where are they used? He further states that ground water is “usually” at 200′ or less from the surface. Many of my friends have had to drill over 600′ to find water. And the professor is taking about ground water. What about aquifers? Do aquifers qualify as ground water for purposes of analysis?

    What about the millions of gallons of water that are needed to pump the chemicals into the ground in order to fracture the shale holding the reserves? Where will that come from? We already have a water shortage in many parts of the state. Can we afford to use this finite and precious resource in this manner?

    Good, safe water is so critical to so many of our human activities, people are just not willing to take the chance. When something goes wrong in HF, the operators are required by the proposed regulation to correct it. These proposed regulations are policed by the operators. I will go back and check, but is there a time-line for these corrections? What happens if the problem is that the fracking is not properly contained? How much of chemical leaks is too much when it comes to our water?

    I admit, I have more questions than answers, and I am not a hydrologist, geologist, or chemist. I do wonder why some states are banning fracking if the science indicates it can be conducted in a safe manner which poses virtually no threat to our water supply.


  9. We’ll see what comes from this. I do not think this state will approve the drilling though, no matter what the answers are. I appreciate your blog.

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