Anti energy left sues California to halt fracking

Fuel Fix:
California was sued for allegedly failing to regulate and supervise hydraulic fracturing by oil and gas companies under the state’s underground injection control program.

The Center For Biological Diversity, a Tucson, Arizona- based environmental group, said in a complaint filed in state court in Oakland today that the program requires the state to obtain detailed studies, conduct inspections and supervise testing before any subsurface injection or disposal project can begin.

“Despite these statutory and regulatory mandates, and despite the fact that hydraulic fracturing clearly constitutes ‘injection,’” the oil and gas division of California’s Department of Conservation “follows a pattern and practice of allowing hydraulic fracturing to occur without notice, tracking or supervision,” according to the complaint.

Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, involves forcing millions of gallons of chemically treated water underground to break up rock and free trapped natural gas. The practice has sparked environmental concerns and lawsuits across the U.S.

The Center for Biological Diversity has a pending lawsuit against California, the nation’s third-largest oil-producing state, seeking to block approval of new oil and gas wells because regulators have allegedly failed to consider or evaluate the risks of the practice.

The lawsuit filed today seeks court orders declaring the conservation department to be in violation of state laws and prohibiting fracking of oil and gas wells that violate state underground injection rules.
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So even when the state is not blocking progress the anti energy left steps in to do the dirty work.  What energy producers will need to keep a close eye on is an attempt at collusion between the regulators and the anti energy left to stop production.  It would not surprise me to see energy companies intervene in this litigation in order to stop the kind of collusion you often see between the EPA and the environmental lobbyist who know they could not get the kind of restrictions they want through the legislative or even the rule making process.

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