Hold moratorium on offshore fracking

84
Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 10:58 PM

Latest year, my constituents on the Central Coast saw history repeat itself when a onto our coast. The risks of offshore oil production are painfully obvious – and just as clear is the obligation of federal executive to carefully regulate these activities in U.

Hold moratorium on offshore fracking

In one thousand nine hundred sixty-ninth, an offshore oil platform failed close the coast of Santa Barbara, causing one of the worst oil spills in American history. Latest year, my constituents on the Central Coast saw history repeat itself when a onto our coast.

The risks of offshore oil production are painfully obvious – and just as clear is the obligation of federal executive to carefully regulate these activities in U. S. waters close our coast.

That’s why the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the federal agencies that oversee offshore energy production and environmental safety, should rethink the recent proposal included in their draft environmental assessment that'd authorize oil companies to resume hydraulic fracturing and acidization at offshore platforms close Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Many questions stay about the safety of these controversial oil-production techniques. While we still know very tiny about the impacts of onshore fracking, we know even less about offshore fracking and acidization, both of which employ toxic chemicals that pose threats to people, wildlife and the environment.

Federal executive wisely agreed several months ago to halt offshore fracking and acidization close CA pending a concerned study of the risks. That decision comes after valid pressure from conservation organizations and legislation that I’ve introduced for many years that'd space a similar moratorium on these practices in federal waters off the W Coast until a full environmental review is completed.

To me, that’s just common sense. Not only is our coastline one of the most pretty in the world, but it's also critical for countless local businesses and our economy as a whole.

Unfortunately, the draft federal environmental assessment doesn't resolve the concerns of many people in Santa Barbara and other coastal communities.

The assessment, for example, cited a study that concluded that there are “critical data gaps” in our understanding of the toxicity of fracking chemicals and their effects on marine life. Yet in the same document, executive propose allowing the oil industry to resume fracking offshore wells with very little transparency.

Below the plan, it's unclear if oil companies would've to disclose any information to the public about what chemicals they're using. Even worse, oil companies could resume discharging fracking chemicals mixed with wastewater into the Santa Barbara Channel.

More fundamentally, the proposal by the two federal bureaus in charge of overseeing offshore energy production and environmental safety seems to encourage the resumption of fracking so that oil companies can recover as much oil as possible. Encouraging offshore oil production today puts our region at greater risk in the future. We know that every gal of fuel extracted and burned contributes to global warming and puts CA at greater risk of droughts, wildfires and coastal flooding.

At the very least, the federal government has a duty to thoughtfully evaluate the wisdom of allowing controversial techniques love fracking and acidizing to be used to prolong the life of aging offshore oil infrastructure.

Such deliberations would be in line with other recent decisions by the federal government. Latest year, federal executive announced the cancellation of oil-lease sales in Arctic waters. And just this month, citing powerful community concerns, they halted plans to open the southeastern Atlantic coast to oil and gas leasing.

CA deserves similar thoughtful consideration when it comes to offshore fracking and acidization.

We know how much damage oil production can do to our coast. It’s time for federal executive to reduce the risk by maintaining the moratorium on these controversial techniques until they can be proved safe.

READ ALSO
Potager to Plate – year-round vegetables from garden to kitchen

Potager to Plate – year-round vegetables from garden to kitchen

You think you don’t have the space or the expertise. It'd be too huge a job, too much of a commitment. You don’t have the time. And besides, what'd you do with all those vegetables? I've the answer.

105
Sacramento’s downtown daily demolition derby

Sacramento’s downtown daily demolition derby

Every single day when I’m driving downtown, I witness numerous emotional violations ranging from rolling stops, no-signal turns, running ruddy lights, and stoned, drunken, helmetless cyclists going the incorrect way on one-way streets.

111
Feinstein on water, Supreme Ct nominee and Donald Trump

Feinstein on water, Supreme Ct nominee and Donald Trump

Dianne Feinstein visited The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board latest week to speak about her drought relief bill and other topics. Here are edited excerpts: We've to keep water from the moist years for the dry years.

129
CA’s most pressing need: Water

CA’s most pressing need: Water

The snowpack is roughly normal in Northern California. But the situation is worse in Southern California, where El Niño was a bust, delivering half of normal rainfall.

93