The costs of fracking

California is believed to have more than 15 billion barrels of oil locked within the rocks under the Central Valley that might be used to feed the nation’s energy hunger

Published: May 28, 2013 12:04 am

California is believed to have more than 15 billion barrels of oil locked within the rocks under the Central Valley that might be used to feed the nation’s energy hunger — if oil companies can free it with hydraulic fracturing… The process involves injecting fluids,usually large amounts of water mixed with sand and/or chemicals,at high pressure to fracture the rock and release the fuel. According to a March report by USC,fracking of the Monterey Shale could create hundreds of thousands of jobs,at least temporarily,and boost tax revenues to the state by billions of dollars. But at what cost?… There have been ongoing concerns in other parts of the country that fracking might taint groundwater and pollute the air. California has two additional worries: how much of the state’s scarce water supplies can be spared for fracking,and the potential for earthquakes. The fracturing itself is believed to create little if any seismic danger,but the disposal of the wastewater by injecting it into other wells has been fingered in scientific journals and by the US government as the probable source of earthquakes in areas such as Oklahoma that aren’t quake-prone.

From a leader in the ‘Los Angeles Times’

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