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.