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California lawmakers call for review of offshore fracking

August 07, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • The fluke of the tail of a Pacific gray whale descends into the water just outside Channel Island Harbor as an oil rig stands in the background.
The fluke of the tail of a Pacific gray whale descends into the water just… (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

A group of state lawmakers is calling for an investigation by federal regulators into reports of oil companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, off the California coast.

Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) wrote the letter signed by seven other state legislators and sent to the the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The lawmakers call for federal officials to consider new regulations for fracking under the seabed.

“Hydraulic fracturing poses great potential dangers to our sea life and all California residents,” Williams said. “This controversial well-stimulation technique needs greater scrutiny, particularly when it potentially jeopardizes our coastal way of life.”

The letter was also signed by Democratic Sens. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills, Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa and Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara and Democratic Assembly members Mark Stone of Scotts Valley, Marc Levine of San Rafael, Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, Adrin Nazarian of Sherman Oaks and Bob Wieckowski of Fremont.

Williams cited an Associated Press report on companies using fracking to help with oil and gas production from the seabed.

The Santa Barbara Channel was hit with an oil spill in 1969 that caused widespread death among birds and ocean life, the lawmakers noted in the letter.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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