Lawmaker touts ‘fracking’ disclosure bill

Oil and gas producers engaged in hydraulic fracturing must be required to disclose the chemicals they’re pumping into the ground, an East Bay lawmaker said today.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, held a news conference at the State Capitol just before his AB 591 was taken up by the state Senate Appropriations Committee, which will decide next week whether to let the bill advance.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” (not to be confused with “frakking”), is a process in which a highly-pressurized mix of water, sand and toxic chemicals is injected underground to crack rock formations and tap into petroleum deposits. Some fear this can contaminate water supplies. Wieckowski’s bill would ensure that the state Conservation Department’s Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources gathers information on the chemicals used, and on the volume and source of water used in this process.

“Roughly 50,000 Californians have signed on-line petitions expressing their support for passing AB 591 and protecting our state’s environment,” hei said today. “They all agree with us that it is time to pull back the curtain and shed more light on fracking.”

With Wieckowski at today’s news conference were Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa; Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento; and representatives from the Environmental Working Group, California League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Oh good, here’s another dimwit dimmiecrat trying to choke off domestic energy production.

    Good for him! The Arabs need the money.

  • Truthclubber

    F**k you, @$$hole — I dare you to drink even one glass of ground water that has been exposed to fracking activities…

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot, you live on Jupiter with Michele Batsh*t and her minoons of holier than thou followers…

    Easy for me to make fun of ignorant, selfish, well-protected fascists like you (behind those gates that the scum of Oakland will NEVER penetrate with their Saturday Night Specials in their inky black hands…in your DREAMS! — see the videos from London!)

    I guess Jesus will give you a pass when he asks you “What did you do to be your brother’s keeper, eh, Hellwoody?”

  • Elwood

    @ toothsucker

    You are seriously insane.

    Fracking takes place thousands of feet below any groundwater basin.

    Help is available for your problem.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Fremont speaks up for anti-fracking. Goody goody! Next up: Polar bear protection.

  • Elwood

    “In June 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had informed Congress that there have been no “proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water.”

    ^ “The Facts About Fracking”. The Wall Street Journal. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2011-08-08.

  • Gus Morrison

    The Wall Street Journal, the gospel according to Rupert Murdock. End of discussion.

  • Elwood

    @ Gus

    So, Gus, what is your point?

    Are you trying to say WSJ lied when they reported what the EPA administrator told Congress?

    I’m sure I can find some other sources for that story if that will make you smile.

  • notgonnatakeit

    Dah Elwood aaaa get a brain! Where do you think the water and chemicals go after they use them? Educate yourself…or is that too scary for you?
    I suppose you think we have an endless supply of fresh water too! It’s ignorant people like you that have been poisoning us and your to dumb to even know it!

  • John W

    It’s good to see Elwood depending on the statement of a “dimmiecrat” EPA administrator on fracking.

  • Elwood

    Unfortunately, a dimmiecrat administrator of EPA is the only one we have at this time.

  • Elwood

    @ #8

    Well, unless the law of gravity has been repealed, the chemicals will not go UP into the water table.

    And just for the record, I’ve probably forgotten more about water resources than you will ever know.

  • Truthclubber

    @11 — and by his wonderful fascist logic, Hellwoody says that that lava does not flow upward either, because of gravity…er, wait…he’s wrong!

    Hellwoody also said he was a Democrat, so that tells you just how much you can believe of the sewage spewing from his keyboard…

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Truthie, I rank you with great scientific minds such as Al Gore, Jane Fonda, Lysenko, etc.

  • John W

    Not being political here, because I accept the current evidence on fracking and realize there is no such thing as perfectly “clean” energy. However, there is another issue with fracking. It’s the open quarry mining for the billions of tons of special sand used in the fracking process — especially in Wisconsin and Arkansas. Issues include impact on the water aquifier, discharge of waste water into creeks and rivers, impact on fish and wildlife habitat and the associated outdoor recreation economy, air pollution from silica dust, and noise and dust from convoys of trucks carting off the sand.