Report: Fracking Doesn't Pose Danger to California Groundwater

The Bureau of Land Management will resume oil and gas leasing in California after a report by a scientific research organization established by the state legislature showed no correlation between fracking and groundwater pollution.

"The study was conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology, a nonpartisan scientific research organization established by the state Legislature [in 1988] to advise state officials," writes Julie Cart, environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Based on the report's findings released Thursday (August 28) "that found little scientific evidence that fracking and similar extraction techniques are dangerous, the federal government will resume oil and gas leasing in California."

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) commissioned the study, "Well Stimulation in California," after it lost a lawsuit in April, 2013 brought by fracking opponents Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club who argued that additional environmental review was needed before BLM could auction rights for drilling in the Monterey Shale formation.

However, Cart writes that the "authors noted that they had little time and scant information on which to base conclusions, citing widespread 'data gaps' and inadequate scientific resources for a more thorough study."

That was the main point that David R. Baker, energy and clean tech reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, emphasized in his piece. "There are no recorded cases of that happening in California, the authors note, but it remains a possibility needing further study," he writes

The report will provide guidance for safe drilling operations, said Jim Kenna, the bureau's California state director. The report delves into issues ranging from the amount of water used by fracking in California - an amount significantly smaller than in other states - to the possibility that disposing of fracking waste water deep underground could trigger earthquakes.

Full Story: Fracking report clears way for California oil, gas leasing to resume

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