November 24, 2013
California Governor Jerry Brown said it may take as long as 18 months for California, the third-largest oil-producing state, to complete an environmental review of the oil and gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, according to a 28 October 2013 Bloomberg report. California lawmakers approved regulations for state oversight of fracking in September.
The state’s Monterey Shale field may hold 15.4 billion barrels — two-thirds of the nation’s shale-oil reserves, according to U.S. estimates. Environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute say fracking poses unacceptable risks of air and water pollution.
“I think we ought to give science a chance before deciding on a ban on fracking,” Brown told reporters following a conference in San Francisco. California’s study will become “the most comprehensive environmental analysis of fracking to date,” he said. While groups have raised concerns about pollution from fracking, Brown said the drilling boom has also helped cut U.S. emissions as companies switch from burning coal to cheaper and less-carbon-intensive gas.
What this means to you
California’s governor wants to “give science and chance before deciding on a ban on fracking.” It’s likely the California study will be a comprehensive analysis that may become an industry standard.