CALABASAS (CBSLA.com) — Environmental activists were set to descend on the offices of a San Fernando Valley lawmaker Monday to demand she support a legislative ban on a controversial drilling process.
Members of MoveOn.org and CREDO were expected to deliver a petition with more than 17,000 signatures to Sen. Fran Pavley calling for her to withdraw what critics say is a “gutted” bill that would have required further study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), who has previously authored landmark climate change and emissions regulations, recently altered language in Senate Bill 4 (PDF) that would have imposed a moratorium on well stimulation techniques if certain scientific studies were not conducted by January 1, 2015, according to the coalition.
L.A.-based activist and writer Lauren Steiner said she would deliver the petition personally to Pavley.
“Sen. Pavley thinks regulations will protect the environment and the public, but regulations cannot make fracking safe,” Steiner said in a statement. “Wells leak and toxic chemicals will get into the groundwater. Fracking uses too much water and causes earthquakes, noise, and light pollution.”
Last week, Pavley cited a new report that warned of acidizing, another technique used by oil companies in California in addition to fracking that employs highly corrosive substances such as hydrofluoric acid to dissolve shale rock where oil and gas is trapped.
Both fracking and acidizing have been used by oil firms to access the Monterey Shale, a 15.4-billion barrel deposit under California, according to Pavley.
“This report is a reminder that regulations need to keep pace with technology,” Sen. Pavley said. “We need to protect the public and the environment from all dangerous chemicals, regardless of how the chemicals are used.”
SB4 is scheduled to go to the state Appropriations Committee as early as Aug. 14.