Proposed Fraking Legislation in California

California 2014 Bills: Last Friday, February 21st, was the deadline for introducing 2014 bills in the California Legislature. Over 1,900 bills have been introduced this year and here is one of proposed new laws:

SB 1132 (Mitchell & Leno) – to amend Public Resources Code § 31670, and to add § § 3160.1 and 3160.2 to the PRC. This bill would require a Natural Resources Agency’s scientific study (deadline: 01/01/2015) on well stimulation treatments, acid well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing treatments, to consider additional elements, including, among other things, evaluating various potential direct, indirect, and cumulative health and environmental effects of onshore and offshore well stimulation and well stimulation treatment-related activities, as specified. Would also prohibit all well stimulation treatments until the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency convenes a committee to review the scientific study, as specified, the Governor issues findings that specific measures are in place to ensure that well stimulation treatments do not pose a risk to, or impairment of, the public health and welfare or to the environmental and economic sustainability of the state, and, if applicable, those findings are affirmed by judicial review, as specified. Would also require the division to adopt a formal process to resolve any claims with respect to vested rights, as specified. Because a violation of the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Fraking, Gasland, and AB 972

I just finished watching Gasland, a documentary I have been wanting to see for some time. I highly recommend it. Of course, the many personal stories are distressing, but the bigger picture Josh Fox presents is worth being a witness to the distress presented. It behooves us to become educated, and to see that regulations are put into effect. Currently, these activities are exempt from the Clean Water Act of 1972, and yet, it destroys water supplies and rivers.

Here, in southern Monterey County, BLM has allowed fraking to take place on several of the parcels it holds in trust for us. According to one news source, faking has been taking place at all oil wells in California, at some point. Last week, two environmental groups, Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the US Dept of the Interior and the BLM.

Part of the letter or notice of intent to sue states: “A congressional report sampling incomplete industry self-reports found that “[t]he oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.” Recently published scientific papers also describe the harmfulness of the chemicals often in fracking fluid. One study reviewed a list of 944 fracking fluid products containing 632 chemicals, 353 of which could be identified with Chemical Abstract Service numbers. The study concluded that more than 75 percent of the chemicals could affect the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; approximately 40 to 50 percent could affect the brain/nervous system, immune, and cardiovascular systems, and the kidneys; 37 percent could affect the endocrine system; and 25 percent could cause cancer and mutations. Another study reviewed exposures to fracking chemicals and noted that trimethylbenzenes are among the largest contributors to non-cancer threats for people living within a half mile of a well, while benzene is the largest contributor to cumulative cancer risk for people, regardless of the distance from the wells. (footnotes omitted.)”

The rest of the letter and supporting sources can be found here:
biological diversity intent to sue

From our Assemblymember, Bill Monning: “Assembly Bill (AB) 972, authored by Assemblymember Butler, would prohibit the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) from approving a notice to commence drilling of an oil or natural gas well for which hydraulic fracturing will be used, until DOGGR has adopted regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. Unfortunately, AB 972 was held on the Senate Committee on Appropriations suspense file due to unaddressed fiscal concerns but I am going to continue to work with my colleagues to address this issue.”

Like one rancher said in the movie, we all need to come together and speak with one voice that we will not let these assholes get away with destroying our water, our wildlife, and our homes. Regulations must be put into effect that will protect all. I will be watching this lawsuit with interest.

Tim DeChristopher

I hadn’t heard of Tim DeChristopher’s case until today, the day of his sentence to 2 years in federal prison for disrupting a BLM auction of gas/oil leases after his trial on the charges. Here is just one of the many great quotes, included in the text of his speech – “The reality is not that I lack respect for the law; it’s that I have greater respect for justice.” (Tim DeChristopher at his sentencing on 7/26/11.)

Mr. DeChristopher is articulate, informed, and involved. He stands as a pillar of nobility amidst a system wrought with corruption. He is the essence of civil disobedience, in my eyes, and is a voice I would love to give audience to, and so, I write about him here. I am not the only one. The LA Times article was releasee about an hour ago. I don’t have staff, so it will take me a little longer.

What does he have to do with Big Sur? I have been writing about the fracking BLM project out by Bradley/San Ardo. Also reporting on the actions of the local activist email campaign out of Lockwood, also home to Steve Craig, local activist, and HOLD-ON. Mr. DeChristopher’s speech is applicable to what I have written before and the concerns I have expressed over the fraking gas leases the BLM has over in Southern Monterey County. It is concerns like these, which Mr. DeChristopher expressed not just in words, but in actions – peaceful actions of telling truth to power. Now, he will be spending the next 2 years in federal prison.

In 2008, Mr. DeChristopher went to a public auction of BLM leases for oil/gas. He filled out the form that he was a bona fide bidder. The leases generally went for $12 an acre – except for the ones DeChristopher bid on. Those fetched $125 an acre. He was charged with disrupting this meeting.

Mr. DeChristopher is a climate activist on the board of

His entire speech can be found there, on, as well as on I urge you to read it, and to show you why, here are just a FEW of my favorite quotes from today’s speech:

” … disagreement with the law should not be confused with disrespect for the law.”

“When a corrupted government is no longer willing to uphold the rule of law, I advocate that citizens step up to that responsibility.”

“The rule of law is dependent upon a government that is willing to abide by the law. Disrespect for the rule of law begins when the government believes itself and its corporate sponsors to be above the law.”

” My future, and the future of everyone I care about, is being traded for short term profits. I take that very personally. Until our leaders take seriously their responsibility to pass on a healthy and just world to the next generation, I will continue this fight.”

“But the speech [he gave on the day of his conviction, and which was only quoted to the extent of 1/2 of one sentence] was about empowerment. It was about recognizing our interconnectedness rather than viewing ourselves as isolated individuals. The message of the speech was that when people stand together, they no longer have to be exploited by powerful corporations. Alienation is perhaps the most effective tool of control in America, and every reminder of our real connectedness weakens that tool.”

“At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on.”

Whew! I wish I could write like that, and I could go on for pages just pulling a few of my favorite quotes. I hope I chose the “right” quotes to get you interested in reading this speech given today.

Spread the word. Make sure his words are quoted wherever you have a voice.

The full and complete version can be found many places, three of which are:,, or

I happened to find it here: Tim DeChristopher speech

Formulate your own opinion. Read the entire speech. I dare you!