Why are You Fracking Around With My Water?

We interrupt your regularly scheduled budget crisis to bring you this message about your water.  Perhaps it is just me, but I like my water to be free of all sorts of undisclosed chemicals. But the oil and gas companies? Well, they drink Evian of course, so what does it matter?!  Toss some random hydrocarbons in there, it is ALL good.

Fortunately, Asm. Bob Wieckowski has introduced, and passed out of the Assembly, AB 591 to force the energy companies to disclose their chemicals.  You see Dick Cheney, never know for his love of transparency, thought it a great idea to keep a bunch of chemicals that will enter our water table secret.  Our friends over at Credo and the CA League of Conservation Voters are working to make sure that bill passes the Senate. They have a petition that you should probably sign on to letting your Senator know about your support for the measure.  

California’s water is threatened by toxic, carcinogenic chemicals — and we don’t even know what they are.

High Pressure Hydraulic Fracturing (or fracking) is a dangerous method of drilling for oil and gas that is responsible for contaminating water across the country. The practice is spreading at an alarming rate, and California’s huge Monterey Shale formation is one of the top prizes for frackers.

Astonishingly, thanks to the work of Dick Cheney and his secretive, industry-friendly 2005 energy policy, fracking has been exempted from EPA regulation, and as such, companies can largely conceal the long list of chemicals they pump deep underground, through our water table.

A vital new state law would change that, and set the strongest standards in the nation for fracking chemical disclosure.1 The bill, AB 591, has passed the Assembly, and is now in the State Senate, where the oil and gas industry’s numerous allies are working to stop it. We can’t let them. Please urge your senator to pass AB 591.

After you have signed the petition, consider going one step further by contacting your Senator’s office and letting them know that you think disclosure is important.  Now, we only need a simple majority, but Democrats occasionally need a bit of spine stiffening when the lobbyists descend.  And on this they will surely descend.

3 thoughts on “Why are You Fracking Around With My Water?”

  1. After reading the text of the bill, it looks like the only thing that it does is require that the chemicals be listed. It doesn’t actually regulate anything. And it still sounds weak enough that if the ground water is not suitable for domestic us, then notice is not required. I guess it’s a start but a very weak one.

    By the way, we should require the same of water production wells, which use the same procedure. Fracking is not limited to fossil fuel extraction.

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