SB1132 still short of passage
By Anna Daniels
California is indisputably faced with extreme drought conditions throughout the state. It is a manifestation of the effects of climate change. If there is a time when our elected representatives are needed to be thoughtful stewards of our water, land and air, it is now. That stewardship is reflected in policies and legislation which will have impacts far beyond the short shelf life of any given politician.
California Senator Ben Hueso, who represents San Diegans in the 40th District, has decided to abstain on voting for Senate Bill 1132 which would impose a moratorium on extreme oil extraction methods in California. This includes hydrofracturing, or fracking, and acid well stimulation. That abstention puts him at odds with a recent poll that reveals that a majority of California voters oppose fracking.
Voters have good reasons for their opposition. The Sierra Club fact sheet on fracking offers this description of the practice:
Oil companies have been using dangerous technologies to extract oil from California with virtually no oversight. These technologies include injecting toxic chemicals, acids, sand and water deep into the ground to dissolve and break up rock. Today, oil companies are positioning themselves to expand these practices across wide areas of California, putting public health, the environment, and our climate goals at risk.
Fracking, which is a continuation of fossil fuel production, is by definition a contributor to climate change. But permitting an industry that uses enormous quantities of water and then injecting the poisoned water back into the ground in a drought stricken state is beyond craven–it represents a clear danger to the health of Californians, threatens our dwindling water resources and the long term economic consequences will be enormous.
Hueso’s staff member told me that the Senator was abstaining, pending receipt of a report that will be promulgated in 2015. I asked if there would be a moratorium on the fracking industry in the meantime. The staff member did not know.
Your phone call can make a difference. Call Senator Hueso today in Sacramento 916-651-4040. Ask him to support SB1132.