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It is important to understand the benefits of in-state energy production for California.


Special interests who have always opposed domestic energy production are spreading misleading information about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” and other energy production methods that have been safely used in California for decades. This misinformation jeopardizes our ability to continue producing the energy that keeps our state moving while operating under the nation’s strictest regulations.


UNDERSTANDING FRACKING

  • Fracking is not a new technology – it has been used in California for more than 60 years to help produce the state’s energy supplies.

  • Fracking is helping to increase our state’s energy independence by allowing us to access untapped oil resources that keep our economy moving.

  • Californians consume ALL of the oil and gas produced in California (37% of what we consume annually), but demand forces us to import more than 60% of California’s needed oil each year from other states and foreign countries.

  • Hydraulic fracturing in California uses very little water compared to other uses. In fact, all hydraulic fracturing in California in 2013 used the same amount of water needed to keep one golf course green for the year.

Does hydraulic fracturing increase emissions?

Did you know?

  • Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is an oil production technique used to release oil that is trapped in tight rock formations by creating hairline cracks in the rock that allow otherwise unreachable oil to be extracted. 

  • On average, this process takes about three to five days to complete. But once the process is done, oil can be extracted for years or even decades without requiring additional fracking. 


Dispelling the Myths

In 2014, the Federal Bureau of Land Management commissioned a study on current well stimulation activities in California by the independent California Council on Science & Technology. The study found that “well stimulation technologies, as currently practiced in California, do not result in a significant increase in seismic hazard. The pressure increases from hydraulic fracturing are too small and too short in duration to be able to produce a fault, let alone a damaging, earthquake.”

Mark Zoback, Stanford University geophysics professor and advisor to the US Department of Energy explains that the amount of energy released by fracking “is about the same amount of energy as a gallon of milk falling off a kitchen counter.”

United States Geological Survey scientist Bill Ellsworth has stated, “…we don’t see any connection between fracking and earthquakes of any concern to society.”


A number of independent scientific studies have found that fracking does not impact California’s water supplies. A study by the California Council on Science & Technology explains, “Hydraulic fracturing represents less than 0.2% of all human water uses in regions where stimulation occurs.”


A groundwater study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that “hydraulic fracturing water use represented less than 1% of fresh water availability in over 300 of the 395 counties analyzed.”


And the California Council on Science and Technology study found “no releases of hazardous hydraulic fracturing chemicals to surface waters in California and no direct impacts to fish or wildlife.”


Hydraulic fracturing produces water as well as oil, meaning that this extraction technique is actually a net water producer in California. After the water is used it is either re-injected back into the ground, reused for industrial purposes, or recycled for productive use.


What is “fracking”?

Does fracking threaten California’s already scarce water supplies?

Does fracking increase the risk of earthquakes in California?

According to the Obama Administration, natural gas produced through hydraulic fracturing has led to massive reductions in greenhouse gases and is helping tap the country’s abundance of clean, natural gas reserves, which has reduced the demand for more polluting energy sources such as coal. In fact, the U.S. Secretary of Energy has stated that “We are about halfway” to the president’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and about “half of that is because of the substitution of natural gas for coal in the power sector” (Ernest Moniz 8/26/2013).

A ban on hydraulic fracturing would reverse these gains, jeopardize our energy independence, and eliminate billions of dollars in annual revenue for schools, public safety programs and other vital services.


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