Thursday, July 19, 2012
I don’t know how many KUSP listeners have been following the controversies related to oil and gas exploration utilizing “hydraulic fracturing,” or “fracking,” techniques. There are a lot of controversies involved. The technique includes the injection of a highly pressurized fracking fluid deep underground. The pressure of the fluid creates new cracks in the rocks far below the ground’s surface, and thus increases the recovery of oil and gas resources, where those are present.
The problems include groundwater pollution, since fracking fluids are highly toxic, the uncontrolled escape of gas, and the destruction of the natural environment on the surface of the land, as exploration and production facilities get plunked down in rural and agricultural areas. Currently, in California, these operations are essentially unregulated. If listeners would like to do a little reading on the topic, I’ve put some links in the transcript of today’s Land Use Report, available at kusp.org/landuse. You might also want to read recent articles from the Monterey County Weekly and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, which indicate that somebody thinks that fracking operations might make sense in Aromas.
Private property deeds often reserve “mineral resources” to the original grantor. So, just because you own your property, that doesn’t mean that “fracking” can’t come to your backyard. As long as there is a local threat, I’d say, let’s start getting informed!