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Letters: Fracking in California

December 23, 2012

Re "Shale drilling rules are outlined," Dec. 19

The astonishingly weak fracking regulations proposed by our state government would do far more to protect oil company secrets than California's environment. That's especially disturbing because people living near oil and gas wells in other states where fracking is already booming are suffering terribly.

In one of the first such studies conducted, Colorado School of Public Health researchers have documented serious public health risks from air pollution from fracking. The federal government recently confirmed fracking-related water contamination, including known carcinogens like benzene, in Pavillion, Wyo.

No regulation can offer complete protection against the dangers fracking poses to our air and water. Nor can the proposed rules prevent the enormous greenhouse gas pollution that would stem from fracking the enormous reservoir of unconventional oil in California's Monterey Shale. Gov. Jerry Brown should replace his administration's weak proposal with a prohibition on this dangerous and extreme method of oil and gas extraction.

Kassie Siegel

Joshua Tree

The writer is director of the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute.

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