California Assembly Rejects Fracking Ban

Published June 16, 2013

The California State Assembly overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have banned oil and natural gas fracking in the state. By a vote of 37-24, the Democrat-dominated Assembly voted down AB 1323.

Supporters of a fracking ban held back two similar bills after realizing the Assembly would likely reject those bills, also. Anti-fracking activists hope to present those bills during next year’s session.

The California assembly vote followed closely on the heels of a comprehensive federal study of water quality near more than 100 natural gas fracking sites in Arkansas. As Environment & Climate News recently reported, the U.S. Geological Survey study found the extensive fracking in Arkansas has not compromised water quality near any of the fracking sites.

Lisa Jackson, who led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the first four years of the Obama administration, has repeatedly testified to Congress that EPA has never found a single instance of fracking polluting groundwater.

Heartland Institute Science Director Jay Lehr, who received the nation’s first Ph.D. in groundwater hydrology, told Environment & Climate News (which is published by The Heartland Institute) the California assembly wisely followed science rather than scaremongering.

“It is almost inconceivable that natural gas fracking would pollute groundwater,” said Lehr. “How many decades of a spotless environmental record will it take for environmental scaremongers to quit trying to shut down this abundant, affordable energy source?”

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.