Dianne Feinstein supports fracking regulation bill

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday endorsed a controversial state bill that would regulate but allow “fracking” and another new means of extracting oil and gas.

“The discovery that fracking and acidization of oil and gas formations could produce approximately 23.9 billion barrels of petroleum in the continental United States — 64 percent of which is estimated to lie within the Monterey Shale formation underlying portions of Central and Southern California — points to the need for action to ensure protection of the state’s natural resources,” said Feinstein, D-Calif.

SB 4 by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Calabasas, would require the state Secretary of Natural Resources to work with state and regional water boards and the state air board to create regulations governing “well stimulation” treatments, which includes hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as “fracking” – and acidization.

The bill also would require permits for all well-stimulation treatments, disclosure of the fluids used in such procedures, advance notification of neighbors near where such methods will be used, and more.

Opponents of the bill say the only way to protect California from fracking’s environmental threats is to halt it entirely with a moratorium. SB 4 now awaits an Assembly floor vote.

“I strongly support Senator Pavley’s legislation and urge the legislature to pass the bill and Governor Brown to sign it,” Feinstein said. “Unless the potential dangers of fracking are addressed, we face the possibility of catastrophic consequences to the state’s environment and precious groundwater.”

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.

  • Lisa Duggan

    I support your efforts on this important piece of legislation.
    Lisa Duggan
    Monterey, California 93940

  • Gene Beley

    Darlin’ Diane has no shame. Follow the money and you will find her and sometimes her husband, Richard C. Blum, standing with the beneficiaries, whether it be the oil companies, water profiteers, or even war profiteers. She’s the worst of the worst.

  • Joe Orawczyk

    While I’m opposed to fracking anywhere on Earth, SB 4 does endeavor to provide some common sense requirements for the oil and gas industry to comply with in order to proceed here in CA. My fear is the bill will lack teeth even if it is enacted. Unless oil and gas executives serve jail time for violations, any fines will simply be passed on to the consumer as a cost of doing business.
    Joe Orawczyk
    Yermo, CA

  • Irvin Dawid

    If SB 4 doesn’t pass, Calif. will continue to have no legislative regulation of fracking (there will be regulation by the Dept. of Conservation though) – SB 4 is much stronger. So you could hold out for a moratorium – which may never happen, or please the oil companies and defeat SB 4. I support the bill and I think Sen. Pavley’s efforts.