Fracking Ban Rejected In California

I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me for a moment when I read that California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing fracking. It will be regulated, but the ban demanded by the environmentalists, and much of Hollywood, has been rejected. Can someone ask Governor Brown to call New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and talk some sense into him? (Those are words I never thought I’d speak or write.)

The Golden State’s governor has signed legislation that regulates but does not ban the technology that has sparked an energy boom nationwide — and which may yet restore the state to solvency.

If any state were to ban hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, the process that releases oil and natural gas trapped in porous shale formations, one would think it would be California.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who leads the government in a state that hosted Solyndra and embraces endangered bird-chopping wind turbines, is a leading advocate of renewable energy and environmental protection. Meanwhile, California’s film industry cranks out anti-scientific fracking propaganda flicks such as Matt Damon’s “Promised Land,” financed in part by OPEC-like interests.

Yet Brown recently signed SB 4, which — while it imposes perhaps the strictest regulations on fracking in the U.S. — rejected environmentalists’ demand to ban what has proven to be a fundamentally safe technology. The most popular fracking moratorium bill got only 24 out of 80 possible votes in the Assembly.

The legislation allows California to remain a leading energy-producing state with the potential for much more, since that state sits atop the resource-rich Monterey Shale formation, which contains far more oil than the Bakken formation in North Dakota. The Bakken development has generated a near $4 billion surplus in North Dakota, brought the unemployment rate down to just over 3%, lowest in the nation, and sparked an economic boom. (Read More)