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The California state Assembly will shortly take up a bill authored by California's biggest climate hawk, Fran Pavley, to regulate fracking. Her SB4 bill promises to impose a comprehensive regulatory scheme instead of the current utter lack of regulations and instead of the weak regulations proposed by the state's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Regulations. It will cover not only fracking, the process of fracturing and pulverizing rock to get at its precious fossil fuels, but acidization, the process of dissolving rock in hydrochloric acid or worse to get at the same fossil fuels. The bill will study induced seismicity and require groundwater monitoring. It's backed by an impressive array of green groups including California League of Conservation Voters and Natural Resources Defense Council. SB4 has already passed the state Senate and an Assembly committee, so it's close to becoming law.

20121007monterey_thumbI share Senator Pavley's concern for the climate. I volunteered for her in a close election last fall; I walked for her, I phone-banked for her, I helped raise thousands of dollars for her, I live-tweeted debates, and I helped other bloggers write about her. She gave me a social media shout-out at a volunteer thank you lunch last year. I'm proud to call her my State Senator.

Unlike other states where the frackers brag about extracting the allegedly "cleaner," "bridge fuel" natural gas, California will be fracked for oil. The Monterey Shale, running from Monterey to Los Angeles under the richest farmland in the country, contains 400 billion barrels of oil. And it's particularly carbon-intensive, sour, heavy crude - the California Air Resources Board ranks (PDF) some California oil as the dirtiest in the world, even above the filthy Canadian tarsands. Fracking and other unconventional extraction techniques could release about 15.5 billion barrels of that oil - about 2/3 of the United States' reserves. I've previously calculated that California's fracked up oil is as bad as Keystone XL for the climate.

I helped get a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking through the California Democratic Party in April. Alas, bills calling for a moratorium couldn't pass the California Assembly in May. At the same time, the political landscape has drastically shifted since 2012, when very weak regulatory bills couldn't even make it out of committees. A June 2013 poll shows that 70% of Californians want fracking either banned or heavily regulated.

visualization of how fracking contaminates water from the documentary Gasland by Josh Fox
credit: Josh Fox
SB4 may pass the Assembly and be signed by Governor Brown. At that point, it's likely that the California legislature will consider fracking "safely regulated," check it off the to-do list, and get back to its main job of repairing years of damage caused by Republican budget cuts. There will be no appetite for tougher laws, just as there is no hope for single-payer legislation in the post-Obamacare national landscape. And the bill will act as a green light to major players currently claiming "regulatory uncertainty" as a reason not to dive headlong into fracking up the Golden State.

On the other hand, if SB4 fails in the Assembly, a fracking moratorium bill will emerge next year, and the clamor to do something will increase.

SB4 is California's equivalent of a Nebraska bill changing the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, but not stopping or even slowing down our headlong rush to burn all the oil.

And what happens if we do burn all the oil? James Hansen's latest paper provides a dense, depressing answer: burning all the Earth's fossil fuels would raise the temperature of the Earth an average of 25 degrees C, making most of the planet uninhabitable.

SB4 presents a choice for California Democrats. Do they regulate the trade secrets and what happens to the produced water and whether the neighbors know what's going on? Or do they say no to a carbon-intensive project that would undo all of the state's progress on clean energy?

Originally posted to Climate Hawks on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (117+ / 0-)
  •  We should ban this now (46+ / 0-)

    I am ashamed that so many, including Democrats seem to think this is a good idea. Serious people power needed here to stop this now.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:52:40 AM PDT

    •  Do you know of any groups (6+ / 0-)

      working on this?

      I've been looking and looking and I can't seem to find anyone taking action on it.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:17:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We should at least understand the technology (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, caul, Senor Unoball, 6412093, ColoTim

      and the risk involved in drilling for oil and gas. Obviously all the light sweet crude close to the surface is gone so going after what remains is more difficult, costs more money, has more risk of gushers becoming blowouts.

      We observed some of that with the gulf blowouts, the north sea blowouts, the arctic blowouts, the routine blowouts that have been occurring every year since the first wells were drilled.

      Oil is lighter than water and sits on top of it. gas is lighter than oil and sits on top of that. Technology now allows small pockets to be "washed out" with solvents under pressure in ways that breach the seals of the bentonite drilling mud and leave behind hazardous wastes that can drain down into aquifers.

      The deeper you go the greater the weight of the rock you are drilling through and the more pressure it places on the drill hole.

      When a well is drilled a casing along with a wash of drilling mud keeps soil and other particulate matter from sedimenting at the bottom of the drill hole trapping the drill bit. Some of the mud leaks out and seals the hole as it dries out

      The drilling mud that remains picks up all the spalls of rock from the percussion and abrasion of the drilling head and moves them up out of the hole under pressure to a sediment pond then the mud is recirculated with pumps under pressure.

      Like a submarine, the deeper the well goes the more pressure on the hull or casing. The drilling mud has to be under pressure equal to that of the rock to keep the drill hole from collapsing.

      Deeper wells that are thousands of feet below the surface have pressure problems that wells close to the surface don't have.

      The more load the weight of the rock adds (144lbs/cubic foot) the more pressure that has to be resisted. In practice its 1 pound per square inch per foot of depth so at 6000 feet the hoses pumping the drilling mud into the hole have to take 3 tons of pressure per square inch.

      When the drill bit reaches the layer with gas the pressure drops dramatically so unless the pressure of the drilling mud is dropped the well blows out. Its hard to judge exactly when this will occur because the drilling mud providing the feedback on how the hole is going has to travel 6000 feet to reach the surface. To prevent sudden surprises the mud is thickened, made denser so the drilling goes slower by a factor of as much as 100.

      Obviously a slower drill rate is costly. If the mud is too dense it can bind the bit, sediment up the hole and kill the well. Drillers tend to keep pushing to go as fast as possible until and even after the risk becomes prohibitive.

      Blowout preventers are a backup system that is supposed to keep the gas from exploding up the pipe pushing the 6000 feet of drill pipe ahead of it, taking out the derrick, and everybody on site. They can be used to slow the flow or kill the well.

      It used to be that the gas was flared off but now it is recovered, hopefully without any damage to the well and then the drilling for oil continues.

      With really dirty oil, high in carbon and sulfer, various other petrochemicals like butane and ethonol can act as solvents washing out the bentonite seals over time and again letting chemicals including those placed in the drilling mud to control its properties wash out into the aquifer below.

      Like fire, nuclear power, oil, gas and coal are a calculated risk we accept because A. we think we can control it. and B. cheap energy makes the high quality of life to which we have become accustomed possible.

      With seven or eight billion people on the planet a few hundred or thousand or even hundreds of thousands and millions of deaths may be thought of as collateral damage.

      Guns, automobile accidents, infectious diseases, climate change, opportunistic diseases, plague, pestilence, overpopulation, pollution, resource war all take their toll.

      We are to the point where we now take species extinctions as collateral damage and are getting to where some of those species extinctions will threaten our own survival.

      Its maybe time to say enough, to just say no, to do the equivalent of quitting smoking so we can keep breathing a while longer.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:40:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't help but think about future generations (0+ / 0-)

      left with hundreds of thousands of holes in the ground filled with completely toxic, often radiactive fluid that we just left there.  As they fail, and over time, they will, those waste fluids will be mixed with our groundwater, running all over the country.

      As water resources become increasingly scarce, to mix trillions of gallons of it with trillions of gallons of toxic chemicals, permanently removing that from the hydrologic cycle makes no sense.

  •  Any guess on a vote, then? (3+ / 0-)

    Will Republicans vote as a block against this bill, in order to preserve no regulations? Or do you expect some Repubs to vote in favor of the bill?

    Would enough Democrats vote against this, thus defeating the bill?

    •  all the Repubs will vote no (3+ / 0-)

      more interesting, a lot of Dems abstained from voting on the fracking moratorium bills. I don't have a clear picture how they'll vote on the regulation bill.

    •  Watch Ken Cooley (D) (9+ / 0-)

      I predict he "does not vote."

      Again. Like he does on most important issues, including

      MEASURE:    AB 1323
      AUTHOR:    Mitchell
      TOPIC:    Oil and gas: hydraulic fracturing.
      DATE:    05/30/2013
      LOCATION:    ASM. FLOOR
      MOTION:    AB 1323 MITCHELL  Assembly Third Reading
          (AYES  24. NOES  37.)  (FAIL)

      ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING
          ***********

      Alejo    Bocanegra    Bonta    Bradford
      Buchanan    Ian Calderon    Cooley    Garcia
      Gonzalez    Hall    Roger Hernández    Holden
      Jones-Sawyer    Mullin    Pan    Quirk
      Quirk-Silva    Wieckowski    Vacancy

      I've been watching him since he was elected. On many issues that matter to progressives, he just doesn't show up. "More Democrats" hardly helps if we have guys like this.

      http://votesmart.org/...

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:17:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While it would be nice (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RLMiller, Senor Unoball, ColoTim

        if his voting record was better - seriously, California is a state where "more Democrats" does help.  The years of insane legislative gridlock weren't that long ago, and while most supermajority requirements have been lifted, we still need the supermajority for tax increases.  It's no accident that California's fiscal situation has improved since the Republicans became irrelevant in Sacramento.

        •  Ok. (8+ / 0-)

          If they'll be doing a lot of fracking in your community, then I'll agree with you.

          But I know that my groundwater and that of 6-7 million of my closest friends and neighbors is now in peril. Earthquakes? Heh, it's not like we get those around here, do we?

          Yeah, the financial situation is crazy. I've said that often. But budgets can be modified. The degradation that results from fracking is, as far as we can tell, pretty darn permanent.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:28:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Please circulate this petition to your friends. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Nothing about that graphic from Josh Fox (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    O112358, 6412093

    that intimates that natural gas from the deep fractured area enters shallow potable water aquifers in the manner shown has anything at all to do with reality and the sciences of hydrology, geology and geological engineering.....that graphic isn't a scientific defensible depiction of what transpires during the operation of hydraulic fracturing.

    •  You seem to dislike the Gasland movies generally. (10+ / 0-)

      And you describe yourself in your DK profile as an "environmental consultant and expert witness."

      Do you have any clients paying for consulting or expert witness services re: California fracking?

      Just asking.

      •  I don't have any industry or oil and gas clients. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        O112358, 6412093

        Your observation of my criticisms of the Gasland movies is a correct one.   I consider what Gasland does to be an anti-science campaign, like the creation museum in TN, the forced birth Taliban, the former Kansas board of education creationism promoters, etc. etc. etc.

        It is science denial that Gasland practices, just like ExxonMobil denies client science.  

        I don't have any personal animus towards Josh Fox.   I think he's got a great future as film-maker, story teller, political advertising maker....maybe even as an elected official.  

        However, I have no respect at all for his conflation and fabrication all the time approach, the fear mongering and the false claims of scientific defensibility for things he says.

        The uncontrolled-methane-emissions claim married to the natural-gas-to-electricity-is-worse-than-coal-to-electricity claim is a particularly eggregious conflation cooked up by Gasland.

        Gasland isn't legitimate environmental protection and natural resources conservation stewardship and leadership.  

        •  whatever one thinks of Gasland (13+ / 0-)

          it doesn't have much to do with fracking for oil in California.  My concerns are with the carbon intensity of the oil, not local land/water use issues. But the picture was in the DKos image library when I searched "fracking."

          But hey, thanks for your contribution.

          •  Can you state concisely the claim numerically (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6412093

            for the carbon intensity of California shale oil recovery methods compared to convention oil hydrocarbon recovery?

            Does the California oil shale deposit require underground steam injection or other high energy consumption technique to gain the hydrocarbon recovery?  

            •  carbon intensity is the same (11+ / 0-)

              whether extracted conventionally or otherwise. However, all the easy oil in Cal is gone. The state's production has been declining. We think that oil companies have been gearing up for unconventional techniques and/or that the techniques are now in widespread use throughout the state, but we don't know, because no permits are required. So the answer to your second question is "probably yes, and it would be nice to know for sure."

              In my county, there are 600 existing wells. 17 of them have been fracked per FracFocus. Rumor has it that all 600 of them have, but we don't know.. There's a local issue with 9 existing, dormant wells and a company that wants to grandfather existing permits to start fracking.

              •  Just to be clear.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                6412093

                Is there zero steam injection and no superheatedwater injection employed typically in that liquid hydrocarbon shale development play going on in California?  [in other words, is this the same kind of oil development from a process technology approach and shale layer material target approach as the Baaken Field in North Dakota, for example]

                •  again, we do not know (4+ / 0-)

                  because the oil companies are not currently required to tell us, and they are not currently required to get any permits.

                  •  I think* the point of Lakesuperior (0+ / 0-)

                    is making is that you are making claims and advocating for major policy initiatives with next to zero understanding of the true  pros and cons of fracking technologies.  

                    You've gladly accepted as fact some "bullshit" some random person posted on the internet.

                    That gullibility is what the republican party thrives on. To be a better party and an informed voter. You cant simply "do the opposite" of what republicans want.

                    You need to be an informed, critical thinking, citizen.

                    Believing every piece of bullshit you read on the internet that meets your predispositions does not help you become informed.....

                  •  Your statement about no permits being required (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Senor Unoball, 6412093

                    in California for oil and gas wells is contradicted by information available here:

                    http://www.conservation.ca.gov/...

                    California oil and drilling information below from
                    permit issuing authority FAQ:

                    Permitting Questions

                    19. What permits are needed to drill a well in California?

                    Usually, two permits are needed to drill a well in California. You need a use permit from the local agency such as the city or county, and you need a drilling permit from the Division. In many counties, most wells drilled in existing oil or gas fields do not need a local-agency permit, so only a Division permit is required. In other counties, use permits are required and can be obtained from the planning department.

                    20. What other agencies issue permits for drilling wells in California?

                    Depending on where a well is drilled, besides permits from the local agency (city or county) and/or the Division, permits may be needed from the Bureau of Land Management (for wells located on federal land), the State Lands Commission (for wells located on state-owned land), or other agencies such as the Reclamation Board.

                    21. How long does it take to get a drilling permit?

                    The Division issues most drilling permits within a week. By law, the Division must respond within 10 working days or the permit is automatically approved. Use permits from local agencies can take longer, depending on the local agency, and the level of environmental review required. For Kern County, the Division acts as CEQA lead agency, and wells drilled outside administrative field boundaries may require 30-60 days to permit.

                    The problem is not that no permit is required.   The problem is that the permit process does not incorporate any public participation procedures or notices to the public or adjacent landowners before a permit is issued.   No public notice, comment and participation are indeed very bad.

                    Here's more....

                    23. What kind of well work requires a permit?

                    Following is a list of the Notices of Intention required by the Division and the kind of well work to which each applies.

                        A. Notice of Intention to Drill New Well (Form OG105)

                            1. Drill a new well.

                        B. Notice of Intention to Rework Well (Form OG107)

                            1. Redrill or deepen an existing well.

                            2. Convert from one well type to another (i.e., oil and gas to steamflood).

                            3. Any change in the mechanical condition of the well such as:

                                a. Mill out or remove casing or liner.

                                b. Run and land liner or inner liner.

                                c. Run and cement liner or inner liner.

                                d. Cement off existing perforations.

                                e. Reperforate existing perforations.

                                f. Perforate casing in a previously unperforated interval.

                                g. Install sand control devices such as screens.

                                h. Run and cement casing or tubing.

                                i. Set any type of permanent plug.

                                j. Set any type of bridge plug.

                                k. Drill out any type of permanent plug or bridge plug.

                                l. Repair damaged casing by means of cementing, placing casing patch, swaging, etc.

                                m. Relocating the packer of an injection well.

                        C. Notice of Intention to Abandon Well (Form OG108)

                            1. Plug and abandon a well.

                        D. Supplementary Notice (Form OG123)

                            1. Significant changes occur to operations proposed in the original notice.

                            2. Reabandon any well.

                            3. Request an extension of time for performing the above operations.

                    I do note here that no element of that addresses hydraulic fracturing or its authorization.  I don't know without doing a detailed review whether the rules require that the permit cover an authorization for hydraulic fracturing or not.
              •  RLM - here in CA we have easy oil offshore (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Senor Unoball

                but no public or political consensus to drill for it.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:51:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Beg to differ, we have a huge public consensus to (0+ / 0-)

                  not drill in the ocean.  Ever since the Santa Barbara spills decades ago there is strong opposition to drilling.  CA beaches are a huge source of revenue and also something everyone enjoys.

                  Congressional elections have consequences!

                  by Cordyc on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:03:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The issue in CA isn't so much carbon intensity (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller, 3rock, LillithMc, BentLiberal, marina

              or anything extractive per se, but the fact that the state is positively riddled with geologic faults.  Big ones, ones that are overdue for snapping beneath some of the most densely populated areas in North America.

              Until proof emerges that fracking does not cause earthquakes (and the science is heading in the opposite direction), it should be prohibited.  Especially here.

              "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

              by Mogolori on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:13:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Europeans have tried to do this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller

              (for shale oil in general, AFAIK not for CA in particular)

              as summarize here

              The default value for petrol made from conventional crude oil in the proposal is 87.5 g CO2/MJ. Petrol made from natural bitumen (i.e. tar sands) = 107 g CO2/MJ; shale oil = 131.3 g CO2/MJ; coal-to-liquid = 172 g CO2/MJ; gas-to-liquid = 97 g CO2/MJ.
              The bottom line is that shale oil (in general) is worse than the tar sands even.

              I doubt if extracting in CA is going to be any better . . ..

            •  The current oil extraction (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller

              near Bakersfield requires 100s of megawatts of multiple natural gas fired power plants which heat water into steam for injection into the subsurface.

              “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

              by 6412093 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:59:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Given the new findings on earthquakes from (4+ / 0-)

            afar causing earthquakes nearby in fracking fields, CA, in particular, should be thinking long and hard about ALL fracking.

            I'm with you. Ban it.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:08:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sure (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3rock, marina, RLMiller, caul

      All those fresh water wells with gas and fracking fluid popping up around fracking sites are just a coincidence.

      You're so scientific.

      •  There is absolutely no evidence (with the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        exception of Pavillian, WY) that hydraulic fracturing and
        transport of gas from deep strata have caused the problems you identify.   Those kinds of problems are caused by failures of well cementing and blowouts at the casing cement shoes which are well construction problems occurring when such construction is not properly done.

        •  Kind of disingenuous (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, RLMiller

          to imply that fracking isn't the cause, just parts of the process of fracking are at fault. Well, duh, the problems wouldn't occur if it weren't for fracking.

          Plus, there's plenty of evidence of harm, but it's not being weighed as it should be, with oil and gas lobbyists hard at work to remove as much oversight and liability as possible.

          •  The totality of all oil and gas operations are (0+ / 0-)

            not called "fracking."

            Hydraulic fracturing fluid is pressured to rock strata 7000+ ft below.   There is no way for gas to escape the strata being hydraulically fractured, particularly in a new well, in the absence of a breach of the well cement job of the surface and intermediate casings.   New casings don't have these breaches, and there is no evidence that it is impossible to conduct a casing cementing operation in an oil and gas well without a cement failure.   This means that, absent such a failure there is no physical path for gas migration from hydraulically fracktured strata for the gas migration to take place.

            A gas well that has cause methane intrusion is presumed to have had an underground blowout at the shoe of the cemented casing.   That the physical phenomenon of gas migration has occurred with gas introduced to a shallow potable water aquifer has nothing at all for a geology/hydrology/engineering based demonstration that the operation of hydraulic fracturing has caused such shallow aquifer methane migration.

        •  The federal EPA (0+ / 0-)

          is even backing off their Pavillion groundwater findings.

          “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

          by 6412093 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:12:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fracking's a criminal waste of water (32+ / 0-)

    Even if it's done as intended, with no leakage, fracking is an unconscionable waste -- each well using millions of gallons of water, contaminated forever. Water is a much more precious resource than the carp they're going after.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:33:58 PM PDT

    •  Bingo. Wish I could rec twice (16+ / 0-)

      It's literally criminal, because in a few decades, fresh water will be worth more than energy (as most of our energy needs can be fulfilled by solar/wind and maybe thorium nukes as a baseload).

      Water is the future battlefront and you're already seeing many countries where fresh water is far more expensive than it should be, as private concerns buy up all the water rights and then charge through the nose selling it back to the country's citizens.

      --
      Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

      by sacrelicious on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:03:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're assuming an assumption that Josh Fox wants (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        you to assume -- that it isn't technically feasible to install an oil and gas well anywhere safely and without harm to groundwater.

        You're assuming that 100% of oil and gas wells contaminate ground water and you're assuming that the operation of hydraulic fracturing is the cause of the problem.....all bad assumptions propagated by Fox that are junk science.

        That assumption isn't true and is contrary to a consensus scientific position of engineers, geologists and hydrologists who are stewards of that field of multi-disclplinary knowledge and analysis necessary to conduct environmental safety risk assessments for oil and gas well siting and development.  

        •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

          (you're assuming) that it isn't technically feasible to install an oil and gas well anywhere safely and without harm to groundwater. You're assuming that 100% of oil and gas wells contaminate ground water and you're assuming that the operation of hydraulic fracturing is the cause of the problem

          While making the backdoor suggestion that none of those things are true (which is wildly dubious claim, even in light the inclusion of the weasel word "technically"), you're completely avoiding the point being addressed in the comment chain to which you responded; that fracking is an egregious waste of precious water regardless of what laughably unsubstantiated claims are made by industry in their endless campaign to deceive the citizenry and maintain a cloak of secrecy around the entire procedure.

          Money speaks for money, the devil for his own... Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?

          by LeftOverAmerica on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:00:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Please provide a cite to factually verifiable (4+ / 0-)

          data for this (that is not funded by any energy providers).

          That assumption isn't true and is contrary to a consensus scientific position of engineers, geologists and hydrologists who are stewards of that field of multi-disclplinary knowledge and analysis necessary to conduct environmental safety risk assessments for oil and gas well siting and development.  
          I'll be waiting.

          Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

          by ceebee7 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:24:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't... (7+ / 0-)

          and that has nothing to do with Gasland or the ideas you were criticizing. We have seen the effects of this quite clearly here in Pennsylvania, where fracking for NG is already in full swing.

          You don't need to theorize about infiltration into water tables from deep fracturing or anything else. All it takes is the large-scale spills of fracking fluids and waste water we've had in several places. Streams and other habitats have been seriously damaged. And that's all above ground level. And, of course, the water demands are already causing conflicts here in the relatively water-rich northeast.

          Oil and gas extraction has always been a dirty and environmentally risky proposition; fracking of any kind is worse by orders of magnitude. And that's no junk science, just good old-fashioned observation of things we can see with our own eyes, at least when those trying to observe it aren't run off by private security hired to keep out those who would expose just how dirty and dangerous these operation are or the direct threat they pose to local waterways and environments.

          Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

          by Stwriley on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:38:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This. But, much more. Bad deal, even if no spills (7+ / 0-)

            Fracking is a process that deliberately contaminates millions of gallons of the most precious resource on this planet -- the lifeblood of life itself.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

            by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:53:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was just giving him one example. (6+ / 0-)

              And a simple one he could wrap his head around because there's no argument at all what caused these toxic spills. It's hard to say nothing has happened when thousands or millions of gallons of water contaminated not only with fracking chemicals but also the heavy metals, toxic salts, and radioactive elements that it picks up from the shale flow into a stream and everything in it dies almost immediately.

              The best current write-up of our problems here in PA was just published by Ellen Cantarow at The Nation. If the fracking waste hasn't turned your hair white already, the article will do it without the direct exposure. Our friend from Lake Superior should try reading it and contemplating the parade of scientists (including one of the widely acknowledged experts on fracking, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell) who lay out in no uncertain terms the environmental disaster that fracking represents.

              Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

              by Stwriley on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:31:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  No!! You missed whole point! Not groundwater! (7+ / 0-)

          It's like you didn't even read my comment.

          "Even if it's done as intended, with no leakage, fracking is an unconscionable waste -- each well using millions of gallons of water, contaminated forever."
          Even if there's no leakage -- no contamination of local groundwater -- the water being used to frack the shale rock has already been contaminated with chemicals that render it unfit for drinking or any other typical use.

          That water is then held in pits waiting to be disposed of -- with industry planning ultimately to inject this toxic liquid into old, abandoned oil and gas wells.

          That's millions of gallons that are wasted in fracking each well -- and then forever removed from the virtuous water cycle.

          I'm not even talking about whether that water can be safely disposed -- because let's face it, no well is built with the kind of integrity to last centuries, much less millenia. That water will seep out of the wells and into the water table eventually -- but I"m not talking about that future contamination. And, I'm not talking about any other accidental contamination.

          I'm referring to the deliberate contamination of millions of gallons of water used to extract the trapped gas and oil. Never to be consumed again.

          You completely missed the point -- which is to skip past the debate which industry wants. The debate should be whether we want to allow an industrial process that contaminates so much water, even when the process works exactly as the industry claims. I think that's a suicide pact.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:47:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You said: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marina, 6412093
            Even if there's no leakage -- no contamination of local groundwater -- the water being used to frack the shale rock has already been contaminated with chemicals that render it unfit for drinking or any other typical use.
            Your statement does not recognize the technical feasibility of recycling produced process wastewater for reinjection in other wells.   I realize that not all of the water comes back and is lost from a volumetric standpoint.

            I am not saying or minimizing the impact that water withdrawals can have on adversely affecting streams if local groundwater is drawn down for hydraulic fracturing.

            On the other hand, saying that hydraulic fracturing is going to lower the levels of the Great Lakes is junk hydrology, as is presently being claimed in Michigan.

            •  I am so relieved (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller, caul, sacrelicious

              Thank you for setting me straight.

              It's technically feasible to recycle the wastewater for other wells.

              I will work with legislators and regulators to ensure that industry will rely on wastewater for future injection. How much is lost from a volumetric standpoint? 10%? 20%? Let's agree that all future drilling must use at 75% recycled wastewater.

              This will be a win/win, as industry won't need to dispose of wastewater in decaying wells that would create risk of earthquakes and groundwater contamination for decades or centuries. The industry can just truck that toxic wastewater around the country, without any risk to anyone.

              By the way, where does that water go -- the water lost from a volumetric standpoint? I'm sure it cannot be left in the ground within veins created by fracturing rock. That would pose a considerable risk of migration into aquifers and groundwater. Thankfully, we already know that's not a real risk, that it's just propaganda and junk geology, right?

              And, it wouldn't be lost through leaks and spillage occurring aboveground right? Because that would pose a real risk of contaminating local water supplies and would pose a health risk to local residents.

              Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

              by FischFry on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:00:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Opponents get into pointless scientific debate (6+ / 0-)

        Sure, we want to discourage individuals from being tempted into selling drilling right on their property -- so, we get in this debate about whether it can be done safely, whether there is migration, how often do casings fail and how long will they last, etc.

        Sure, we want to debunk the industry's claims about gas being an important bridge fuel which will slow down the increase in greenhouse gases -- so, again,we get in a debate about how much methane escapes as fugitive emissions.

        These are debates that just allow industry to obfuscate and appeal to those on the right who don't trust government, liberals and scientists.

        But, if we can make the case that we're squandering one irreplaceable resource to go after one which can be substituted -- that we're going to run out of water if we continue to allow frackers to pollute it -- we can force legislators to block the practice.

        Sure, agriculture uses more water, but it does end return to the water cycle, eventually returning to earth as rain. Fracking contaminates water that must be sealed off -- taking that water out of the virtuous cycle, rendering it undrinkable and useless.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:36:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There isn't any debate about the conclusions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093

          of the Howarth/Ingraffea paper that gave their characterizations of well completion methane emissions and the claims that natural gas to electricity was worse than coal to electricity.

          The claims of that paper have been rejected by both EPA and the Dept. of Energy as not being fair characterizations of methane emissions, gas collection and emission control practices typical in the industry.

          Plainly stated, EPA rejected the emission characterization of the Howarth/Ingraffea paper when it prepared its 2013 methane and greenhouse gas emission inventory.

    •  I believe this angle... (5+ / 0-)

      ....would be the best way to fight it.

      The GOP jobs plan is to manufacture outrage.

      by Doug in SF on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:21:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have long felt that. (6+ / 0-)

        It's pointless to engage industry on whether they can operate safely.

        Just point out that the process itself deliberately contaminates millions of gallons of water -- even if that contaminated water never leaks out.

        Do we want some gas that will get burned up and be gone forever, or do we want to preserve the water resource for generations to use?

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:50:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  hence the sustained bipartisan effort (5+ / 0-)

      to build the new peripheral canal and water tunnels to suck the delta dry, to use for fracking instead.

      whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting over.

    •  Five or six recs (7+ / 0-)

      Just think about all the bitching the ag folks have been doing over the "great California desert."  Oh, but we can use the water for fracking.

      The "invisible hand" doesn't regulate the market - it wanks it. -- SantaFeMarie

      by Dinclusin on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:54:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bill text here, I believe (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, Senor Unoball, marina, caul

    SB4 Senate Bill as Introduced

    Not a whole lot of detail, it directs the various executive agencies to formulate rules by 2015.  It does (oddly in my opinion) require a public website containing all the fracking details, which would seem to primarily succeed in disclosing people's successful fracturing methods to competitors.

    It also makes disclosing a trade secret ingredient in fracturing fluid a crime in California.

    •  That seems like it's contradictory (5+ / 0-)

      Doesn't it?

      Or does the site not disclose the actual ingredients that are covered by the trade secrets?

      And I think having public disclosure of how these companies are actually doing the fracking seems like a public good to me. I suppose it's a matter of detail in regards to the line between being a useful public resources vs being a disclosure of business practices. Not that I'm at all concerned about protecting the bottom line of these companies. Knowing how much water they are using is a key thing though.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:33:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not the bill it was thanks to Pavley (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, leema, Senor Unoball, WakeUpNeo, caul

    who rather quickly after it passed the Senate, made it much weaker by taking out any reference to a moratorium while these studies she is requesting in the bill are being done.

    It also leaves the trade secret protections in and, appears now to exclude "steam flooding, water flooding, or cyclic steaming" under the definition of well-stimulation.  

    Are there any other "last minute" things Speaker Perez is going to gut before he thinks his friends in oil and gas likes it enough? Trust level is very low on this legislative leadership.

    I agree strongly we need a moratorium and we should fight for it starting . . . now, for all the reasons you state and more.

    "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." - From The Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy

    by 6079SmithW on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:25:07 PM PDT

    •  Please sign and share my petition. (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with your comment.  If you could help circulate this petition, it would be great.  The environmental NGOs even the ones that oppose the bill are of no help in this.  They want access to Pavley and to be able to say they were part of a solution.  But this is no solution and only makes it more difficult to get a ban next year.

      http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/...

  •  CRACKED (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, RLMiller, Mogolori

        Right before MLK's monument was to be dedicated a 5.8 earthquake cracked the Washington Monument.
        But, Oh they know the underground…., all the aquifers, all the hot water rivers that originate from Yellowstone.
        If fracking continues… the time frame coupled with climate change… who knows? What to watch for is if geysers start freakin.
        I think they'll plug some of the underground rivers and all hell will break loose… Then earthquakes will happen everywhere for months… How many Nuclear reactors will fail?
        Heck of a way to end this 237 and some odd, year old nation, let alone the dust cloud that will cover the earth for a few years…
        The Yellowstone Caldera! Ancient and as huge as huge gets.
        Of course we'll have to fight in the discussion, the Oh nuclear dissipates in only 50,000 years and I'M going to be cloned. Make two or three so you'll have someone to talk too, in case one breaks down.

    March AGAINST monsatanOagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:22:12 PM PDT

  •  I find it astounding California is considering... (18+ / 0-)

    ...allowing fracking, a water-intensive activity.  California is already in the midst of water-based resource wars between algriculture and communities, which will only get worse during the predicted long-term drying of the state.  Adding another large water user to an already stressed supply is asinine at best.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:31:05 PM PDT

    •  Especially for OIL nt (6+ / 0-)

      The "invisible hand" doesn't regulate the market - it wanks it. -- SantaFeMarie

      by Dinclusin on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:57:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's insane, and I mean that literally (7+ / 0-)

      The plan to drill tens of thousands of holes in the ground and inject them with trillions of gallons of toxic fluids is the stupidest, most insane thing I've ever seen humans do intentionally.

      I mean, creating an entire infrastructure based on burning fossil fuels, while simultaneously destroying 80% of the CO2 absorbing forests in the world is historically, tragically stupid. But we didn't set out to do this. It kind of just happened.

      Fracking the US (and Europe etc), on the other hand, is a great big plan. These insane, stupid motherfuckers (and yes I mean Obama too), actually intend to do this on a mass scale.

      If they are allowed to proceed, future generations, who will have to live with the poisonous consequences, will judge them as monsters. Mark my words.

      But they will be judged only slightly less favorably than us if we allow these nutjobs to do it.

  •  Is your title correct? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, Senor Unoball, AdamR510
  •  This breaks my heart (6+ / 0-)

    One of my favorite places is Santa Cruz on Monterey Bay. The Bay is a nature preserve and is teaming with wildlife. It's a wonderful place and fracking the Monterey Shale and filling the streams that feed into the bay with toxic crap could destroy it.

    There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

    by BeerNotWar on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:10:47 PM PDT

    •  If you look at the provided map (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, LakeSuperior, caul

      You'll see that most of the deposits are in the Central Valley, not really in the Santa Cruz area. However, the map does indicate deposits close to the coast, and even offshore, in more southern parts of the state.

      •  Map doesn't show it all (0+ / 0-)

        Currently the San Ardo field has become very active in the last few years.  It is one of the oldest field in the USA.  You can see it from the 101.

        It is at the Headwaters of the Salinas River, which flows through one of the most important agricultural growing areas and empties into Monterey Bay.  The Salinas Valley is America's Salad Bowl and also grows many spices for McCormick.  Much of the water used is from ground wells and from 2 reservoirs fed by the local mountains.

        As ML Miller is reminding us, we don't know what is in fracking fluid, but the question I have "do you want the mystery chemicals in your salad greens?"

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:18:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good NY Times story on CA fracking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, 3rock, PinHole, caul

    From back in February, see here.

  •  HBO is running a story about (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3rock, RLMiller, caul, Senor Unoball

    fracking taking place elsewhere in US... Folks who live in vicinities CANNOT DRINK THEIR WATER.  EPA is useless.  EPA Director Jackson QUIT when Obama changed policies, told EPA to STOP REGULATING and testing.  "Off the record," EPA told residents in fracking communities, "we advise you to not drink your water." !!!!

    Tests show ground water heavily laden with carginogens.

    Fracking must be banned in CA.

    Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

    by ceebee7 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:38:33 PM PDT

  •  additional comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, caul

       ONEROUS, onerous, ONEROUS
       I find myself incredulous that anybody buys TRADE SECRETs. The absurdity. It's poison! That's why & who can sue?
        Onerous, to put this upon future gens. It's scandalous. They haven't cleaned up SUPER SITE toxic areas in the preceding gens.
       I'm speechless at what people accept. We debate but not about knowing what toxic ingredients are being put into the unknown maps of the underground are, by corporations? Oh. it's regulated and safely trucked away...
       It's boogling that people have become so complacent. I'm beginning to think they've perfected mind control. It makes no sense in ton of ways, yet see no, speak no, hear no, is the consensus?
       Am I missing something because it's obvious?

    March AGAINST monsatanOagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:32:45 PM PDT

    •  P.S. Thank You (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, caul

        Thank You for posting this, RLMiller.
          It would be tremendously FORWARD if California were to take the lead in exposing this. You know, the it starts in Ca., and spreads. Here we've upped our reputation with elections and a balanced budget, marriage equality, TY Gavin, but mustn't ROCK the chainybushscotus boat. I wish all Democrats would tune into their inner anger at the stolen election and it's AFTERMATH & STAND UP. One has to STAND UP to counter obstruction. Do we as Californians not remember? Is it so easy now we accept corrupt TRADE SECRETs as a validity, let alone for future gens? We have to get back as a country to being the template for the rest of the world. Do as we say, not as we do, is ludicrous.

      March AGAINST monsatanOagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:59:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GO, RL! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, Senor Unoball, Cordyc

    Your advocacy for the planet is always so informed and thoughtful.

  •  This is why few/no serious poloticans (0+ / 0-)

    align themselves with environmentalism.

    Natural gas usage is one of the few practical/potential ways to have major reductions in carbon equivalent emissions.

    Someone will counter with a random non-peer reviewed article about how OMG fracking causes more emissions than "omgz".

    I would  poke around and find an article stating that the net replacement of coal caused by natural gas from fracking has a net positive environmental impact.

    To use a concept I think Obama once did. If you stand against this regulation you absolutely are "letting the perfect become the enemy of the good"

    The crackpotery/extremism/holy war of the environmental movement has done more damage than the ambivalence of the masses.

    The way the crusades against fracking and nuclear power have been waged has made a mockery of the idea of environmentalism.

    People believe in global warming. People want to do something about it. But the comical and stereotypical extremism from the movement has been incredibly off putting.

    The idea and popularity of "hippy bashing" is so powerful that people literally would rather watch the world burn than work with you or your ideas.  

    The SOLUTION. Push for hard regulation. Push for fixing damaging and immediate environmental issues.  DO NOT push for crazy ideas that have zero chance like complete banning of fracking.

    The best examples for both these are the keystone XL pipeline.

    The first round environmentalists won. There were a clear set of potential direct problems IE the poisoning of a regions water supplies.

    The second round environmentalists LOST and LOST CREDIBILITY and LOST INFLUENCE. The argument was made "OMGZ OILS BAD OMGZ"

    If you act calmly and with purpose, you can try for big dreams like a cap and trade system or a carbon tax.

    When you make a joke out of the concept of environmentalism all you do is push those big wins further and further away.

    •  Debunked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul

      The scientist who debunks the benefit of natural gas in Gasland 2 is very believable.  Most who want fracking seem to have never seen the movie, believe industry hype and lack common sense especially for CA with our water shortages and fault fractures.  There are better renewables but no fat cats paying to support it because it is not going to make them billions like exporting natural gas to the rest of the world.  Another part of Gasland 2.

      •  Such an informed movie "gasland" is lol (0+ / 0-)

        Here is a good exchange illustrating the credibility of your source.

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        It left the op revved up and raring to go with little to no reason understanding.

        " There are better renewables but no fat cats paying to support it because it is not going to make them billions like exporting natural gas to the rest of the world. "

        Ps thats just nonsense.

        If somone had a key to cost effective renewables they would be laughing at your joke of billions..

        cost effective renewables would be worth TRILLIONS.

        A failure to recognize that basic fact is proof of a complete failure of your paradigm to grasp the way the energy industry works.

      •  "believability" is irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        EPA and Department of Energy have rejected the findings of the Howarth/Ingraffea paper.

        The paper was also torn apart in peer review both before and after it was issued.

        It does not represent any scientific consensus at all about methane emissions from gas well completion because it made erroneous assumptions about gas collection, flaring and emission control typical for industry operations that every other party to this has rejected.

    •  Yes, use reason and logic .. and the Repubs scream (0+ / 0-)

      about God and Freedumbz and lies and misdirection and half-truths that are SO MUCH  easier to comprehend by the generally dim voters and ...
      well, yeah, our side was reasoned and factual, but hey, the  wild screamers won with the hysterical voters SO WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU  ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH?????????????????
      Go drink your fracked water with the knowledge that "humph, we lost but we had the FACTS".
      What planet do you live on?

      Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

      by fourthcornerman on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:31:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is the NOAA "believable"? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, caul, Senor Unoball

      Just saying, their measurements of fugitive natural gas from  fracking make it 2, 3, or maybe even 4 times worse than coal as far as greenhouse gas emissions are concerned.

    •  again, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, Senor Unoball, 6412093

      California's reserves are mostly of oil, not natural gas.

      Whether one agrees with Gasland or not, it's pretty irrelevant to the question of whether California's massive carbon-intensive oil reserves should be exploited.

      And yes, your hippy-bashing comments about Keystone are noted.

  •  Awesome diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, Senor Unoball

    It seems like only yesterday (in reality it was 4 or 5 days ago) that I was whining about how everybody was overlooking fracking for oil (which is every bit as bad as the tarsands) while continaully bashing the tar sands (which is fine - but the problem is that that allows so much shit - like this - to take root "below the radar").

  •  I suspect that this information is dated . . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, caul, Senor Unoball, 6412093
    Fracking and other unconventional extraction techniques could release about 15.5 billion barrels of that oil - about 2/3 of the United States' reserves
    probably based on the "official" government stats . .. .

    There are also vast new recoverable oil in Texas - 50 billion barrels - that is believed to now be accessible via today's enhancing fracking methods.

     

    The slide flashed up, on two screens, in a hall of over a thousand conference attendees. No one gasped, even though oil prices were already showing signs of erosion a couple of weeks ago. The data seemed matter-of-fact to an oil and gas crowd that has been desensitized to drilling frenzies and gusher wells that are enough to make John Wayne smile in his grave.

    Yet there it was, a remarkable stat buried among many that should have made everyone at the Dallas Convention Centre take a deep breath. According to the source, just one oil play in the Texas Midland Basin, the Spraberry/Wolfcap shale, may have a total recoverable resource of up to 50 billion barrels using new tight-oil extraction technologies.

    link

    The only good thing about this is that Canada is all sad about these developments: Texas: One more threat to the oil sands

  •  Petition to Pavley to drop bill and fight for ban (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, RLMiller

    If you agree with RL's article, please sign and share my petition.

    http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/...

  •  I read this diary with interest, thanks. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, ceebee7, Cordyc

    I'm a Californian, I hang out a lot online in an active venue for political progressives, and I am embarrassingly ignorant of this topic. I feel like I've made some good headway in understanding the issue of fracking in our state in just the last few minutes.

    Now, regarding your fear of what will happen if the current regulation bill passes:

    There will be no appetite for tougher laws, just as there is no hope for single-payer legislation in the post-Obamacare national landscape.
    I'm just not sure I'm with you on this.

    Generally, I believe that Republicans have been so successful in state and federal legislatures these past few decades because they understand playing for the long term. They chalk up what victories they can, and they keep going. If an outcome is only 15% of what their objective was, they work to get some "stronger medicine" through next time, and they get 25%. Little by little, they succeed. Us, if a given outcome is less than 100% of what we wanted, we go all to pieces.

    I believe it's a habit we have to unlearn.

    Did Obamacare go "far enough"? Hell, no. I want to see these healthcare-funding profiteer bastards cut out of the loop, entirely. So do most people reading this, probably. And I believe we'll get there, we've made an important first step. It will open the door to further changes. On that, you have my personal guarantee.

    Again, great discussion, thanks. Tipped and recommended.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 01:02:50 PM PDT

    •  Good point. Kos covered this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, Cordyc
      If an outcome is only 15% of what their ["They" being Republicans] objective was, they work to get some "stronger medicine" through next time, and they get 25%. Little by little, they succeed. Us, if a given outcome is less than 100% of what we wanted, we go all to pieces.
      [Bracketed info added.]

      in his book, "Taking On the System."  

      We DO need to learn to seek/accept incremental successes, especially where doing so is practical, politically apt and likely all that is possible in the short term.

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 03:48:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We progressives complain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cordyc

        about all kinds of unfair advantages, e.g., unlimited funding, enjoyed by the RW. Those complaints may well be founded. But if nothing else, I do get so tired of this losing, defeatist, all-or-nothing mentality I see progressives demonstrate time and again.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 03:56:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is there some reading I can do? (0+ / 0-)

    For the proposition that the California share crude is less friendly to the environment than the bitumen from Canada?  Or even the heavy, sour from Venezuela?

    I am skeptical of that assertion, as I was of the assertion early in the debates that it would take more energy to extract petroleum from the bitumen deposits than the energy to be gained from doing so.

    And anybody who looks at the 10-b filings of the companies exploiting Canadian bitumen has to be skeptical of the assertion that a failure to approve KXL will "shut down the tar sands."

    Here in Texas, we are literally drinking our own recycled urine in the western part of the state, but we can't bother the gas producers to recycle their fracking water!  It costs more, y'know?

    Then there are organic fracking fluids, but we don't use them because they cost more.

    Then there is the practice of doubling up the blowout preventers, but only one company does that because it costs more.

    I have not seen Gasland II, because the first Gasland put me off with that fraudulent "fracking fluid makes the tap water flammable" scene.  Either those folks have never seen a casing leak (I was born and raised in the oil patch) or they just like to scare people.

    To ban or to regulate, that is the question?  Whether 'tis nobler for the environment to make drillers expend an outrageous fortune to protect the commons, or to take arms against those who would pollute the seas and by opposing end them?

    But then, to live in the dark.  Ay, there's the rub....

  •  In Fresno tonight, 300 people gathered (0+ / 0-)

    for an anti-fracking forum. We learned that there's little hope for serious regulation from the federal or state governments, so we must work at the local level to have a fracking moratorium within this large county at least. We need to repeat the grass roots efforts in New York which resulted there in a year's state-wide moratorium on fracking.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:28:13 PM PDT

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