California law to regulate fracking signed by governor
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to crack rock formations and free up oil and natural gas. The technology makes it possible for oil companies to unlock California’s vast Monterey Shale deposit, estimated to hold 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
But environmentalists across the nation have decried the practice, saying that the chemicals used in the process pollute underground water supplies and cause other damage. New York has instituted a moratorium on fracking, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a strict set of regulations into law in June.
The California law would require oil companies to obtain permits for fracking as well as acidizing, the use of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals to dissolve shale rock.