Skip to comments.Boom: California greens try, fail to pass a fracking moratorium
Posted on 06/11/2013 10:41:47 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
I somehow managed to completely miss this from a couple of weeks back, but its an especially interesting and kind of epic piece of news from a state thats home to some of the largest, most cultishly do-or-die green interests in the country and a legislature currently dominated by a liberal supermajority. When I first caught wind of the fact that Californians were getting ready to introduce a proposal to ban fracking, I suspected that they would definitely have a fighting chance of getting the thing passed but it turns out that enough of Californias legislators are at least somewhat tuned in to the economic realities of hydraulic fracturing, and enough so to thwart the often overwhelming clout of the states many eco-lobbies.
Some quick background: At the moment, California is the fourth-largest oil producing state in the union, but production has been steadily declining while the state has been dropping plenty of cash on forcibly integrating wind and solar into their energy grid. California is also sittin pretty atop the as-yet untapped Monterey Shale, a formation estimated to be several times bigger than the Bakken Shale formation currently delivering an economic boom to North Dakota. The oil and gas industry isnt quite there yet with the technology that would make extracting the formations resources economically worthwhile, but with the innovative leaps and bounds hydraulic fracturing has accomplished in just a few short years, its only a matter of time and a moratorium would preemptively shut the whole thing down.
While wealthy and self-fancied green Californian districts seem all too ready to cut the opportunities off at the knees, poorer regions were noticeably less keen on a potential fracking ban. The WSJ knows whats up:
Democratic leaders brought their fracking moratorium bill to the Assembly floor last week, and their rank and file revolted. The bill lost 37-24, with 12 Democrats joining 25 Republicans to defeat it. Another 18 Democrats abstained, and its a good bet they were no votes who didnt want to publicly cross their leadership. This was a rare rout of the Sierra Club and other greens that denounce fracking for polluting water and inducing earthquakes, among other horrors. They blamed the oil and gas lobby, but that hides the real story.
The votes for the fracking ban came mainly from the wealthy, mostly white Democratic coastal districtsSan Francisco, Santa Monica and Malibu. Opponents were mostly from central California, areas that are poor and minority, with rates of unemployment of 12% or more.
A study by University of Southern California scientists funded by the oil industry estimates fracking would deliver 500,000 jobs over the next several years and $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2020 alone. If those numbers are even close to accurate, drilling could be a financial salvation for a state that has $167.9 billion in long-term liabilities
Expect to continue to see the eco-zealots continuing to work their tailfeathers off impose deliberately onerous regulations on hydraulic fracturing and to sue oil and gas companies for various offenses, real or imagined, while they continue to completely ignore that their state is awash with debt and joblessness and the fact that the natural gas that could come out of increased hydraulic fracturing is one of the most effective and economical methods weve yet discovered for reducing the carbon emissions they claim to loathe so much.
Frack the Greens.
It is they only way state employee can expect to get their pensions. Purple isn’t that green.
Revolting Californians? What’s new?
Sounds like California Dems is Pennsylvania Dems.
Salivating at the thought of all the new revenue streams from fracking.
Burn the Eco-Zealots...
“It is they only way state employee can expect to get their pensions. Purple isnt that green”
That is exactly it. California needs the money(green).
Maybe the private sector union goons are finally waking up and realizing that the oil industry creates good paying jobs including union jobs.
Also, the world's top scientist, al Gore, says that it's very bad, not only does it not make any money for him, it's doubleplus ungood!”
Gang Green? Frack em!
“but it turns out that enough of Californias legislators are at least somewhat tuned in to the economic realities of hydraulic fracturing,”
More likely the oil companies bought enough Dem votes.
California electric power production at least is very “green” as far as CO2 goes. There are no coal fired power plants in California. All in-state electric power is either nuclear, hydro or natural gas with some VERY minor wind and geothermal.
Some electricity is imported from Arizona that has a coal plant, and is rather hypocritically imported by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, aka the largest California public agency in the generation business and ostensibly the “greenest”.
California production of Nat Gas however will reduce out of state imports and so will have an effect, probably, in displacing other sorts of power plant fuels, but elsewhere.
Who would’ve believed that some common sense would reappear in CA?
A tiny ray of sunshine! We’ll take our victories where we find them! Thanks for the ping!
For those who want to see a short 6 minute video showing how horizontal drilling and fracking is done Northern Gas and Oil has done a great video.
This includes a piece on how groundwater contamination is avoided:
Knowledge is power, keep the link and pass it on.
Except for one part, I agree with the video. An intermediate casing should have been installed and cemented from the base of the surface casing to the “kick off point” with the cement circulated to the surface in the annulus between the surface and intermediate strings.
My bet is that this formation also extends "well" offshore.
It had to be said.