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Fracking: Economic Boom or Environmental Disaster?

There’s been a great deal of discussion recently over the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” On June 18, our guest was Patrick Sullivan, from the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit environmental group. Then on June 21, our guest was Tupper Hull, Vice President of Communications for Western States Petroleum Association, a public policy advocate for the major oil companies and refineries in six western states.

Fracking is a process where water mixed with chemicals is injected into the ground at high pressure to create fissures in the rocks, through which oil and gas escapes, enabling it to be drilled. There is tremendous controversy over how safe this process is. Proponents believe that the ability to unlock a domestic energy source is a critical opportunity that we can’t pass up. Opponents argue that fracking is extremely dangerous, threatening wildlife areas and water supplies, but the WSPA feels there’s been an enormous amount of “misinformation” and “hyperbole” around the issue, and that there’s no evidence that it has ever adversely impacted the environment or water quality.

So is fracking an opportunity or a disaster? Fracking has the potential to provide a huge boost to the economic development of the state, and to provide a needed domestic energy source. The Monterrey shale reserves could make up 2/3 of our oil reserves. If managed responsibly, with the proper infrastructure, and responsible regulations, some of the problems experienced in other states may be avoided. Currently two bills, AB7 and SB4, are pending in California to impose regulations on fracking. Whether you look forward to a fracking boom, or want a complete moratorium, we should watch these bills closely. And keep informing yourself on the topic.

Tune in July 18th at 9:00 a.m. (Pacific) to listen to CA State Senator Fran Pavley who has legislation in Sacramento speak with us about her bill on The Maria Sanchez Show.

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