Fracking California: The State’s Best Kept Secret

           From an industry sponsored video claiming, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, that since fracking occurs deep underground, there is no threat to aquifers.

By David Gurney

California’s best kept secret since leaky pipes at San Onofre, earthquake faults under Diablo Canyon, the $54 million hidden slush fund at State Parks, and the Governator’s maid, is that the state already hosts at least 628 “fracked” oil wells.

While the rest of the nation is in an uproar to immediately ban a practice that is known to poison water tables and destroy drinking water, the head of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) Catherine Reheis-Boyd, declared in a release to the Sacramento Bee  that hydraulic fracking is “safe for California.”  She claimed in the article “virtually all California drilling activities are overseen by one or more agencies.  Existing regulations already provide for extensive environmental protection and worker and public safety.”

Facts indicate the exact opposite is true.  

Ms. Reheis-Boyd, president and spokesperson for the WSPA, also served as Chair for the controversial Marine Life Protection Act “Initiative,” revealing stark levels of deception and corruption, both within the “Initiative” and California politics in general.

Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced new lease-sales of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in California, for oil and natural gas “fracking.”  Offshore areas are also showing up on maps, indicating reservoirs of underwater deposits beneath the ocean off Santa Barbara and Southern California.  It’s clear that government and petroleum officials want to “frack” in the very same areas Catherine Reheis-Boyd was appointed to oversee, as “guardian” of marine habitat protection for the MLPA “Initiative.”


The ‘South Coast Study Region’ for the MLPAI on left, natural gas deposits on right. (See: LINK)


What’s becoming increasingly obvious, is that Reheis-Boyd’s expedient presence as Chair of the Initiative’s “Blue Ribbon Task Force,” was in fact a ploy by the the oil industry to make sure no restrictions were applied in the MLPA against drilling or fracking, in or around so-called marine protected areas.

Objections to the obvious conflict of interest of Reheis-Boyd’s appointment to the top levels of the MLPA “Initiative” fell upon deaf ears during the boondoggle’s run, and were in fact actively squelched by Kearns and West energy-interest facilitators – who ran the meeetings during the quasi “public process” – a process which forced fishing and food gathering interests off the ocean in areas now apparently slated to become sacrifice zones for the oil industry.

Meanwhile, an October story by Bay Area NBC investigative reporter Stephen Stock revealed that California has already had numerous “fracked” wells that state regulators failed to even keep track of.

Fracking has been taking place for over five decades in Sacramento, Monterey, Los Angeles and Kern Counties, without any state oversight or regulation whatsoever.

According to Tim Kustic, chief oil and gas supervisor at the Department of Conservation, (link“We don’t have an exact number of how many wells in the state are fracture stimulated.”

see the video here:


In California, the practice of fracking does not even require a permit.  According to an Aug. 2012 article in San Luis Obispo’s ‘New Times’ – “The oil company drilling under Lyon’s…ranch and vineyard wasn’t required to obtain a permit or notify anyone before it began high-pressure pumping of a mix of water, sand, and a cocktail of “trade secret” chemicals, deep down into the earth.  Not Lyons, not the county, not the state, not even the federal overseers of oil and gas drilling.”  (link)

Negligent California law makers and supervisors are scrambling to catch up with the rest of the nation and the world, in regulating an alarming practice many believe sacrifices pure, unpolluted water for natural gas.  Meanwhile, residents in the above mentioned counties may be well-advised to have their water tested.

Please also see:  Fracking explained (You Tube)

And:  How water is polluted by fracking (You Tube)

And:  Former MLPA chair says hydrofracking is ‘safe for California’

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