What the frack is going on

frack2Like many of you, I tend to get some of my “news” from the timeline of my Facebook page.  This past Friday, May 24th, I saw a post by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell’s page that made me really angry.

Assemblywoman Mitchell posted about her bill, AB 1323, “the only fracking moratorium to survive Appropriations Committee, headed to Assembly floor for full vote“.  AB 1323 authorized new amendments pertaining to who can authorize well operators to drill.

Hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling for natural gas and oil underneath the ground. Water mixed with other components is pumped into the ground to create cracks (also referred to as fissures or fractures) to release the gas into wells that have been built for collection.


Why should hydraulic fracturing worry us citizens?  Because ground water is our main source of water.  If you really believe there is enough water flowing from the Colorado River to sustain our growing population, think again.  Ground water is stored in aquifers underground which is then pumped for our consumption.  By allowing the injection of chemicals into the water to extract gas, will contaminate the very water we drink and bathe in.

[ The ‘F’ Word: Unregulated Fracking at Oil Wells Raising Concerns (2013) ]

Existing law mandates well operators to receive approval from the State Oil and Gas Supervisor prior to drilling.  If drilling occurs without approval, the well operator is subject to a misdemeanor charge.

The amendments to AB 1323 will remove the authority from the State Oil and Gas Supervisor and shift the authority to either the County Supervisor and/or his District Deputy and also removes the language where it is a misdemeanor to drill without approval.  The state constitution makes it mandatory that local agencies and school districts be reimbursed for state mandated costs.  AB 1323 requires that no reimbursements are necessary since the amendment calls for the state power to be removed in favor of the local supervisor.

Places too much power in the hands of elected officials who still may believe that global warming is a myth.  I wonder how Ladera and Inglewood residents feel about this since there is drilling right in our backyard over off Stocker and Labrea?  I hope we don’t get sick like those poor people in the Erin Brockovich movie.

You are urged to either take a geology course, or take a free tour of either West Basin or Water Replenishment Board for they would love to tell you all about where our water comes from.  Judging by the comments on Mitchell’s post, these folks don’t have the slightest clue what they are congratulating her for.

Call your appropriate local and state officials and tell them to vote NO on AB 1323.  Leave the power of determining risk of drilling to the experts, not politicians who are paid for their vote.

Related articles

What is fracking?

Fracking Still Unregulated Despite Quake Connection (2012)

German brewers warn fracking could hurt beer industry


5 Responses so far.

  1. Engaged_Inglewoodian says:

    Morning! Theres a mistake in your post about AB1323. You said that amendments to AB1323 “removes the language where it is a misdemeanor to drill without approval.” That’s not actually true based on the Bill text you provided a link for us. The prohibition of “hydraulic fracturing” and making it a misdemeanor is still in there. Instead of having it as its own line, it was placed 3 paragraphs up in blue.

    The bill text states “This bill … would prohibit hydraulic fracturing until the completion of a report, as specified, and a determination is made that hydraulic fracturing can be conducted without a risk to the public health and welfare, environment, or the economy of the state. A VIOLATION OF THIS PROHIBITION WOULD BE A MISDEMEANOR. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also express the intent of the Legislature to, among other things, protect the public health and welfare, natural and environmental resources, and economic interest of the state.”

    So basically, until they can prove that it is safe, it is prohibited. and the advisory committee is the body that makes that determination, not the county supervisor as you allude to in this post.

    After reading through it, I got the feeling that the amendments are a good thing. But reading your post, I dont think you get the same feeling. I just wanted to converse to see if there was something I was missing as an engaged Inglewoodian.

    • UrbanGirl says:

      The legislation also removed the ability to authorize said fracturing from the state to local level. Are you disputing that as well?

      • Engaged_Inglewoodian says:

        I am not disputing that. In fact, i think local decision making on this is a good thing. With the decision making now being local, community members have the ability to lobby on behalf of their communities one way or the other. The way democracy should work. You said that this “places too much power in the hands of elected officials who still may believe that global warming is a myth.” I dont think my county elected official is in that category of people. And if he was, it would be my job as a community member to make sure he, as well as other community members were informed.

        Plus, a local oversight committee is the determining body that decides if Fracturing can be conducted without a risk to the public health and welfare, environment, or the economy of the state. The make up of that body is something I think is very beneficial as well. Every section of the public that could be effected from fracking would have a seat at the table.

        (A) The California Environmental Protection Agency.
        (B) The Natural Resources Agency.
        (C) The State Department of Public Health.
        (D) Environmental justice organizations.
        (E) The agriculture industry.
        (F) The oil and gas industry.
        (G) Two academic researchers with experience in hydraulic fracturing issues.
        (H) Water agencies.

        To me, doing it this way give enough time to look into fracking in its totality and a way that is as democratic as possible as well. Im just a fan of making sure those who will be most effected by certain decisions have the opportunity to be a part of the decision making process. Will they need to be educated on the issues so that they make an informed decision? OF COURSE.

        • UrbanGirl says:

          Thank you for engaging in dialogue and helping to further educate our readers on the subject. We appreciate it!!!

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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