Fracking moratorium moves forward

Bill would disallow fracking until state guidelines are in place

A bill that would ban hydraulic fracturing oil extraction in California was approved by a state Senate panel on June 26, representing a first step in what is likely to be a lengthy lawmaking process.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 5-3 in favor of the bill after reviewing testimony from Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) and energy industry representatives, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill would ban fracking until regulators solidify guidelines for the controversial extraction method, which involves injecting water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure. Currently, California does not require oil companies to disclose where fracking is practiced or what chemicals are involved. Energy industry representatives argued fracking has been employed in California for decades without incident.

The bill, AB 972, now continues to the state Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.