Brown administration releases fracking rules six months before studies are complete!

By Dan Bacher | January 4, 2015 |  Governor Jerry Brown continued to live up to his reputation as "Big Oil Brown" with h...

By Dan Bacher | January 4, 2015 | 

Governor Jerry Brown continued to live up to his reputation as "Big Oil Brown" with his administration's release of the finalized text of the state's regulations for fracking and well stimulation on Tuesday, December 30. 

Although Senate Bill 4, passed in September 2013, requires California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to complete an environmental impact report and approve an independent scientific study, "neither one of those documents were ready in time to inform the final rules," according to a news release from CAFrack Facts. 

“California has essentially reversed the regulatory process when it comes to fracking,” said Jackie Pomeroy, spokesperson for CAFrackFacts. “State regulators have finalized California's fracking rules a full six months before any of the mandated scientific studies have been completed. Given the long-term and potentially irreversible impacts of fracking and well stimulation, it is critical that we make policy decisions based on science—unfortunately, the current timeline makes this impossible.” 

Pomeroy noted that in contrast to California, New York recently decided to continue its moratorium on fracking after concluding that the practice poses unknown risks to human health and safety. 

After his team spent several years and over 4,500 hours reviewing scientific research, New York’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, declared that, “there are questions that remain unanswered from lack of scientific analysis, specifically longitudinal studies of [fracking].” 

He concluded, “Would I live in a community with [fracking] based on the facts that I have now? Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports behind me ... my answer is no." 

"New York is the first state to put the science before the politics and come to a conclusion based on the weight of the evidence,” explains Seth B.C. Shonkoff, Executive Director of PSE Healthy Energy. "The decision is a clear example of how bringing scientific transparency to the issue - highlighting what we know and don't know - is an important component of responsible energy policy decision making.” 

Although the regulations have been finalized, they will not go into effect until July 1st due to delays in coordinating multiple agencies. 

More information on California's fracking regulations can be viewed here.   

Jerry Brown, once known as "Governor Moonbeam" for his quirkiness and eccentricities during his first two administrations from 1975 to 1983, transformed himself into "Big Oil Brown" during his third administration. He will be inaugurated in his fourth term as Governor on January 5, 2015. 

Big Oil strongly supported the amended version of Senate Bill 4, the green light to fracking bill, that Brown signed in September 2013. Just ask Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, who praised the governor's signing of Senate Bill 4 for creating the "environmental" platform to expand fracking in California. 

The Western States Petroleum Association is the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento and has spent $31,179,039 since January 1, 2009 to lobby against anti-fracking measures and California's environmental laws, according to a report written by Will Barrett, the Senior Policy Analyst for the American Lung Association in California.  

Besides supporting the expansion of fracking in California, Governor Brown has also rushed the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build two massive tunnels under the Delta, the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history; presided over record water exports at the Delta pumps in 2011; pushed water policies that have driven Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Sacramento splittail, Central Valley salmon and other fish populations to the edge of extinction; and implemented the oil industry lobbyist-overseen "marine protected areas" created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. 

An in-depth review of Governor Brown's environmental record can be viewed here.  

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1 comment

Anonymous said...

You really have no idea how the process works or what the bill said. Do your homework. Stop showing your bias. I am sure you love it when you fill up your tank at the gas station.

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