Trump administration exploring possibility of opening up California land to fracking

The Trump administration this week took the preliminary steps toward opening around 1.6 million acres of public land in California to hydraulic fracturing and oil drilling.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Wednesday explained in a notice to the Federal Register that it will explore the impact of fracking in the state, setting off alarm bells among environmentalists.

“[T]his document announces the beginning of the scoping process and seeks public input on issues and planning criteria related to hydraulic fracturing,” the notice reads.

Specifically, BLM will prepare a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to determine what environmental impacts the technology will have on the region.

The land in question includes “approximately 400,000 acres of public land and an additional 1.2 million acres of Federal mineral estate,” according to the agency, and spans across multiple counties including Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Fracking is a technique by which water, sand and additives are injected deep into the ground at high pressures to crack open rocks and release the oil or gas trapped inside. It’s led to drilling booms in places like Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

Proponents argue that it’s a safe technology that is increasing America’s energy independence and creating jobs, while opponents say it poses environmental risks and recklessly promotes an energy policy centered around fossil fuels instead of alternative energy resources.

“This step toward opening our beautiful public lands to fracking and drilling is part of the Trump administration’s war on California,” said Clare Lakewood, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We desperately need to keep these dirty fossil fuels in the ground. But Trump is hell-bent on sacrificing our health, wildlife and climate to profit big polluters.”

The administration has already faced backlash over similar moves. This spring, for example, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke postponed a sale for leasing public lands for drilling near Livingston, Montana, following heavy outrage due to its proximity to Yellowstone National Park.

“I’ve always said there are places where it is appropriate to develop and where it’s not. This area certainly deserves more study, and appropriately we have decided to defer the sale,” Zinke responded in a March statement.

More broadly, the development is just the latest high-profile fight between California and the Trump administration, as the state has challenged the president’s agenda on nearly every hot button issue, including immigration, climate change and health care. 

And just last week, President Trump issued a series of tweets lambasting the state’s environmental regulations, claiming that the rules are hindering the ability to effectively fight wildfires, remarks that drew wide condemnation from state officials.

13 comments

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  1. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 11 August, 2018, 10:51

    This is an example of a technology that we can do without.

    California is divided into two geological regions: Continental Shelf and the Pacific Plate. They are divided by the mighty San Andreas Fault.

    California is also a network of other major and minor faults, and fracture lines, and potential seismic activity. Earthquake scientists will tell you there isn’t one square inch of our State that is not at any time as likely to be the epicenter of an earthquake as any other.

    And, down below the surface, scattered among the seismic zones is our underground water supply. It is stored in reservoirs that are fed by rainfall and run-off. Aquifers bring that water to the surface when the water table is high.

    Fracking anywhere in California could easily destabilize the land we live on and cause unnecessary or counterproductive earthquake activity. It could also cause underground water supplies that we rely on to disappear.

    Any technology that causes permanent damage to the land is foolish. I hope people will wake up and smell the stink of money.

    Not to be punny, but if fracking is a sign of Progress, then progress isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    Those who believe money is more important than the land we live on will one day wake up in a hell of their own creation.

    Just for the record, I am also against solar panels because the technology is damaging to the environment, wind-generated electricity because it is damaging to birds, hydrogen-powered vehiciles because they are dangerous, self-driving vehicles because they cannot be made foolproof, and robots that replace human beings except for dangerous jobs.

    Reply this comment
  2. Bogiewheel
    Bogiewheel 11 August, 2018, 16:00

    California is experiencing a short fall in water containment. The ability to increase oil production by Fracking consumes a vast amount of water; Millions of gallons per well. We can drink water, drinking petroleum is a problem.

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 11 August, 2018, 23:16

    Comrades

    You want choo choo

    Frackee Frackee

    Reply this comment
    • Standing Fast
      Standing Fast 12 August, 2018, 12:09

      Comrade Queeg,

      Aha! Methinks ye hast stumbled into the perfect argument against both.

      Reply this comment
      • ricky65
        ricky65 13 August, 2018, 16:50

        Yeah, once in a while Capt Queeg gets it right and those ball bearings seem to click the right way.
        Most of his best stuff comes working for Uly Uhaul out at the rental yard in Hemet. He likes to weld on the broken down trailers without a welding helmet while dropping LSD at the same time.

        Reply this comment
    • Ted is the Tedlest ever
      Ted is the Tedlest ever 14 August, 2018, 19:45

      Queegster– THIS is possibly your best post to the Doomera, well, gosh, ever! Congrats!

      Reply this comment
      • Queeg
        Queeg 15 August, 2018, 08:39

        Thks Teddy , The Sage of Doomerville!

        Ulysses sends regards.

        He is sweating like a aged prize fighter using his Zorro whip getting impatient/uncouth doomers in the usual morning trailer selection line up.

        The work though rewarding is gruesome around here.

        Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 14 August, 2018, 10:09

    Comrade. Rickitteee

    Thanks for promotion.

    Uli just laughed. No one around cares about anything around here but money and our dogs Vicious and Baby.

    We have the best welder gear from Bellarooooos. Russian WW 2 stuff. OSHA shook their head….

    We are in a drug free zone. Such Fake News Ricketts….

    and doomers….we have specials on sisal rope from Paraguay this week until sold out.

    Uli treats you “right”.

    Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 14 August, 2018, 15:57

    This is sure to get the Greens al stired up wait for the usial Junk Mail from some Eco-Wacko group urging you to send in a $500 donation and mail out those postcards to your Conress Critter and senator all about this so called Enviromentaly sensitive land or this Fragile Earth Delicate Balance of Nature poppycock wait for the Sierra Clugs Legal Defense Fund CBD and NRDC to file stupid lawsuits and Hollywood Airheads like Robert Redford Leonardo DiCaprio and others their usial amount of Bull kaka

    Reply this comment
    • The Ted Steele Situation
      The Ted Steele Situation 14 August, 2018, 19:49

      Here ya go silly sea duck

      Pumping 600 chemicals at high pressure below the water table in areas near the largest earthquake fault in the northern hemisphere…., what could possibly go wrong?a

      Reply this comment
      • ricky65
        ricky65 16 August, 2018, 21:46

        Teddy Unsteady: If pumping chemicals into the largest fault in the Northern hemisphere could cause the San Andreas to rupture with a 10.0 quake and result in coastal California from San Francisco to LA to slide into the Pacific, then what sane person could be against it?
        Frackee, frackee, please make large crackee,crackee!

        Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 August, 2018, 09:45

    Ricky

    You is one hurting dude……my business plan depends on squeezing out the remaining doomers near the coast and assisting their moves to Redd-Est Neck Nirvana….jug whistling West Virginans won’t be happy.

    Reply this comment

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