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City May Ban Fracking

If a committee approves the moratorium, it could go to the L.A. City Council as early as Friday.

Credit: Jonathan Oyama
Credit: Jonathan Oyama

A Los Angeles City Council committee today will consider imposing a moratorium on fracking and other methods used to force oil and natural gas out from deep underground.

The Planning and Land Use Management Committee will take up a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing, which entails injecting a water and chemical mixture into rock formations at high pressures, creating cracks to release natural gas or oil.

The moratorium would also apply to other “well-stimulation” methods, such as acidizing and gravel-packing.

The motion was introduced in September by council members Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin, who say fracking and other well-stimulation practices could endanger Los Angeles' water supply.

Critics of fracking also link the activity to property damage, air and water pollution and an increased risk of earthquakes.

Some oil production companies operating in the city employ acidizing, which uses corrosive acids to dissolve rock formations around oil deposits in and around Los Angeles communities, according to city officials.

If approved in committee, the full City Council could take a vote on the motion as early as Friday, council aides said.

--City News Service

Gayle Robison February 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Good. We don't need THAT abomination in this city. We have enough environmental problems and earthquake risk already.
Nora Doyle February 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM
The following two council members on the PLUM Committee have not yet declared their support for the moratorium on fracking -- Please call their offices and ask that they support the ban: Mitchell Englander (City Council District 12) - (213) 473-7012 Gil Cedillo (City Council District 1) - (213) 473-7001
Charles Murray February 25, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Just another tactic to keep us dependent on foreign oil, and to create new sources of revenue by issuing permits for astronomical prices, to continue to frack as usual. It's happened like that everyplace else where it was "banned", so this will be the same. Get ready for soaring gas prices the day this passes, since a huge amount of CA's oil comes from under LA.
Brentwood Resident # 49 February 25, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Gayle and Nora Do you have any idea what % of the risks are regarding drinking water? It's a farce, the GWPC and EPA have indicated not exactly groups that are pro fracking, have indicated that there is no significant risk to hydrolic fracturing. "Studies by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC), an association of state regulators, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of current state regulations in protecting water resources. When the GWPC studied the environmental risk of hydraulic fracturing, they found one complaint in the more than 10,000 coalbed methane wells reviewed – an Alabama well where problems were not related to fracturing according to the EPA. The EPA initiated its own study of environmental risks from coalbed methane hydraulic fracturing and, again, no significant environmental risks as a result of proper hydraulic fracturing were identified." The key is making sure that the companies that are fracking use proper well construction, and waste water containment. Many companies are now recycling the waste water for use in the same well or other wells. Banning fracking would be a foolish thing for our city council to do, however, having the most stringent regulations on well construction and waste water storage should certainly be looked into.
Homewood Road February 25, 2014 at 05:15 PM
The chemicals used in fracking pose a threat to the saftey of our water. But fracking poses an even more serious danger because it requires the use of billions of gallons of fresh water for each of its drilling operations. Our city and state are already facing serious water shortages. It is critically important that our towns and states do not give up our limited water resources for a one time extraction of oil.
Homewood Road February 25, 2014 at 08:09 PM
The level of water in the reservoirs in California is far below average. Our Governor has declared a drought emergency and asked citizens to reduce water consumption by 20%. Our state water project is now releasing ZERO amounts of water from the northern watershed to the rest of the state. Yet, millions of gallons of freshwater are used in hydraulic fracturing operations. What are the sources of this water if fracking is to used in Los Angeles? How can we allocate millions of gallons of water to fracking when California does not have enough water to supply its citizens and its agricultural industry. How would major water withdrawals from our reservoirs and rivers by fracking operation affect short- and long-term water availability in our area? Would the residents of Los Angeles be asked to reduce our personal use of water by 50% to free up fresh water for fracking? Or would water costs soar to our citizens as wealthy oil and gas companies bid for water supplies? What are the possible impacts of water withdrawals in the millions of gallons for fracturing operations on local water quality and supply? How would accidental contamination of our water table or rivers affect and limit the remaining water supply for our state?
PM February 25, 2014 at 09:09 PM
There is legitimate concern over our water - but mainly the people screaming are uninformed and jump on the band wagon of the cause de jour. If people actually looked into it - it is no more dangerous then the wells already up and running - there comes a point where people need to start to toughen up against leftest issues which are used politically to get people in an uproar - our extremley wealthy city council is so out of touch of what it actually takes to live in this city with all of the laws & taxes they keep passing.
Nora Doyle February 25, 2014 at 10:04 PM
In addition to concerns about the waste of fresh water and polluting our scarce ground water, fracking has been definitively linked to earthquakes in Ohio where none occurred prior. There are numerous articles from different sources, but here's one -- http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/confirmed-fracking-practices-blame-ohio-earthquakes-f8C11073601.
Sean McCarthy February 26, 2014 at 01:31 AM
Let's wait and see what the council does.
Brentwood Resident # 49 February 26, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Nora and Homewood - Fracking does contribute to micro earthquakes, magnitude less than 2, with the largest injection induced earthquake being 3.6 , still not very damaging. While I agree that this should be considered as well as the water issue here in California and specifically Los Angeles City, the pros also need to be considered. Maybe a portion of the proceeds from the fracking can go towards projected increased water costs? Maybe all fracking that takes place in Los Angeles must provide their own water and not take DWP water to perform their drilling process?
Sean McCarthy March 01, 2014 at 05:27 PM
Okay. What about the Daily News article that states: "The top equity holding in fiscal year 2013 for the pension fund for civilian employees was the ExxonMobil stock, worth at least $115 million, records show. Exxon is also the second largest equity — worth $80 million — in the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions fund, records show. The two portfolios also own a combined $100 million in stock in Chevron, another company that practices fracking." POSTED: 02/27/14, 8:55 PM PST Are we saying that its okay for Los Angeles pension funds to make money off of fracking as long as it is done someplace else, right?

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