Don’t Frack With California

A new kind of “gold rush” fever is gripping America. It’s the rush to unleash  hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology on American  fossil fuel deposits that have hitherto been too expensive to develop profitably. Fracking is dropping the cost of extracting oil and gas for the oil companies  involved, but much of that cost has been shifted onto the public in the form of contaminated drinking water, polluted air, degraded waterways, and crashing property values.

As gold rushes inevitably seem to do, this one is now bringing legions of would-be fossil fuel millionaires to California. What draws them? The Monterey Shale, which underlies much of the Central Valley and the Central Coast, and reaches as far south as Los Angeles. It holds 15 billion barrels of oil that are now, suddenly, commercially viable.

With potential profits hitting stratospheric levels, the pressure to “just do it” is immense. And of course, the industry interests involved pitch the development of the Monterey Shale as a mighty jobs creator, even though the actual economic results are currently mostly speculative.oil refinery

In September, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s first fracking bill, SB4. It contains many provisions that are being ignored elsewhere, like requiring oil and gas companies to get fracking permits, disclose the fracking chemicals they use, and notify neighbors before drilling. But it does allow fracking to continue, even while state officials scramble to complete a study that evaluates the risks of fracking in California.

Given the industry’s give-us-an-inch-and-we’ll-take-a-mile attitude, this compromise will almost inevitably deliver a series of environmental and health crises to Californians, especially given that the Monterey Shale lies below most of the sources of drinking water for Central Valley residents. And of course, the huge amounts of water required for fracking will add more strain to drought-prone California’s water woes.

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) is currently soliciting  comments from the public on its proposed oil and gas regulations, with the comment period open through January 14, 2014. (You can see them here.) But the truly cautious choice would be a ban on fracking until the effects on people, animals, our air and water, and the global environment are better understood. The fracking industry should shoulder the burden of proving itself safe, rather than pursuing a “shoot first and ask questions later” policy.

If you’d like to see a fracking ban in place, please sign the petition at EcoWatch, or contact the governor’s office directly.


Learn more at: ClimateProgress  EcoNews  Clean Water Action  EarthJustice



  1. We Need Sustainable Energy Policies, with all hands on Deck, removing Home Owners and Business Persons from investing and keeping their own profits goes against our daily childhood pledge of, With Liberty and Justice for All.

    A California Residential Feed in Tariff would allow homeowners to sell their Renewable Energy to the utility, protecting our communities from Poison Water, Grid Failures, Natural Disasters, Toxic Natural Gas and Oil Fracking. It would also create a new revenue stream for the Hard Working Taxpaying, Voting, Homeowner.

    Sign and Share this petition for a California Residential Feed in Tariff.

    We need a National Feed in Tariff, this petition starts in California.

    California currently has a Feed in Tariff that does not allow home owners to participate in the State mandated goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020.

    California also does not allow the homeowner to oversize their R.E systems, as of now, your local utility has allowed only 80% homeowner generation from your R.E system.

    California has 2 different Energy policies Net-metering and a Feed in Tariff.

    Net metering the energy policy for homeowners, allow you to bank excess electricity from R.E systems for future credits. The credits you accumulate are at the retail rate, and are reviewed at the end of the year. It will be written off with a thank you from the utility and no payment to the homeowner for producing more than what you use.

    Net metering has allowed third party leasing companies to replace one utility with another.

    “Examples of Net-metering slow down Renewable Energies:

    1. Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs) which create de facto caps on the deployment of renewable energies (the Germans do not have any RPSs, their Feed in Tariff has no caps.
    2. Net-metering caps, most states only allow a small percentage of one to two percent of peak load to be net metered.

    3. Third party leasing companies like Solar City, Sun Run, Verango and others fight tooth and nail to protect scarce capacity carve outs (from the States RPSs) so as to bolster their chosen business model.” Bob Tregilus

    No one is fighting for the Hard Working, Taxpaying, Voting, Homeowner, we can change that with a Ca. Residential Feed in Tariff Energy policy that allows everyone to participate. Homeowner’s, Small and Large Businesses, Small and Large farmers, and Industries, have the right to sell Renewable Energy electricity to the utility.

    Vote Solar Initiative is a Sierra Club and Solar Leasing Companies platform to ensure that One Utility will take the place of Another through the continued use of Net Metering.

    We need a Policy that will enable Hard Working, Voting, Tax Paying Citizens, get a chance to participate in the States goal of 33% Renewable Energy by 2020 through a California Residential Feed in Tariff.

    California, there is enough Residential Solar to power 2.25 San Onofres, couple that with a Commercial Feed in Tariff and we can solve some of these environmental and electrical generating problems.

    This petition will ask the California Regulators and Law makers to allocate Renewable Portfolio Standards to Ca. Home Owners for a Residential Feed in Tariff, the RPS is the allocation method that is used to set aside a certain percentage of electrical generation for Renewable Energy in the the State.

  2. Love Warrior says:

    Signed and shared!

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