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Bill To Regulate Fracking Clears Senate Committee

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The fracking process shoots a mix of chemicals and water deep underground to extract oil.

Environmentalists say it can endanger public health and contaminate water.

New legislation would require more scientific study of the process, set up a permit system, and require the oil industry to disclose chemicals it uses.

Rock Zierman is with the California Independent Petroleum Association.

Zierman: "We don't have a problem to study this further but we've seen this tactic used in other states, particularly in New York where they've been working on this study for four years, so it becomes a de facto moratorium.This is one of the most studied industrial practices on the face of the earth."

The oil industry says the legislation isn't needed because a regulatory process is already underway through California's Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources.

But supporters say the agency isn't doing enough.  

Democratic Senator Fran Pavley, the bill's author, says it sets reasonable regulations that should already be in place.

Pavley: "This is not anything really that much greater than other states are doing. We need to at the minimal assure that someone, someone, some agency is monitoring for the public health and safety of Californians what is going on."

The legislation passed one Senate committee and now heads to another committee.

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