Fracking a Ocean and California’s San Andreas Fault


By Kristen Demaline

Picture this: a dark, noirish landscape illuminated by gas flares from oil refineries, spinners whirring, on a hunt for replicants. Blade Runner is a dystopian sci-fi crack set in Los Angeles, circa 2019—but is it probable a film was prophetic about a soothing heat of blazing methane after all?

Put another way, what if a oil refineries past that Harrison Ford flies aren’t refineries, yet fracking rigs?

This idea isn’t a much-rumored supplement to a 1982 classic; it’s an admittedly nightmarish visible we couldn’t assistance yet anticipate should The Golden State stoop to absolute oil and gas attention lobbying and feature fracking offshore in a Pacific and in a Monterey Shale (which sits underneath LA and a environmentally altered Southern California coast, among other places).

Horizontal fracturing, or fracking, allows a oil and gas attention to get to healthy gas and shale oil pot trapped in large subterraneous deposits, as good as offshore oil and gas.

To be clear, fracking has been going on in California for decades. What’s altered in new years is a technology—which is newer, some-more absolute and more controversial—and a areas in that a oil and gas attention find to drill. Here’s where fracking is already happening:

  • The Inglewood Oil Field in Baldwin Hills (that’s right in LA; New Yorkers, suppose an oil margin in Park Slope) where some-more than one million people live within 5 miles of a site. Some residents of a area have celebrated cracks in cement and on their property.
  • Offshore, some-more than a dozen fracking jobs have taken place, many to kindle serve oil prolongation in a Santa Barbara Channel, yet a jobs have “yielded churned results” for oil companies, according to a Monterey Herald. This year, a EPA endorsed a grant for a attention from a Clean Water Act, permitting them to continue disposing of fracking liquid during sea unimpeded. Thus far, there have been no studies on a impact of fracking on sea life; that said, normal offshore drilling operations have been found to means reproductive problems for wildlife.
  • The North Shafter oil field, also atop a Monterey Shale, has been newly fracked notwithstanding a location above California’s rural heartland, a Central Valley. Recently, between 6 and 10 barrels of “frack fluid” leaked into an open, unlined pit, an occurrence underneath investigation by a Central Valley H2O board. Presently, California is a tip agricultural writer in a U.S. and a H2O peculiarity of a Central Valley is pivotal to gripping food on all of a plates.

Nationwide, a domestic quarrel over fracking has strong over regulations and a purpose of federal, state and internal supervision authorities—also a theme of Josh Fox’s Gasland Part II. And California is now a latest battleground. The state is now relocating to pass regulations—for a first time in sixty years—that would concede California to indeed guard and lane a plcae of fracking sites.

On Aug 2, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it has consecrated a study to investigate intensity impacts of fracking in California. This came after fracking’s opponents won a lawsuit, charging that going forward, such a investigate had to take place before to BLM’s leasing of sovereign lands to oil and gas companies for drilling.

Just final Thursday, state legislators asked a Environmental Protection Agency to investigate offshore fracking; given sea fracking falls underneath sovereign jurisdiction, it’s presumably underneath a reach of a Interior Department. According to a Associated Press, a California Coastal Commission has settled that they were unaware, until recently, that offshore fracking was holding place.

Last year, debate arose when an environmental impact study finished on safety in a Inglewood Oil Field found that “the argumentative descent process used during dual wells did not impact a sourroundings or health of those vital nearby.” The catch: that investigate was paid for by a oil field’s owners and counterpart reviewed by consultants with tighten ties to a appetite industry. Further, it usually looked during a near-term impacts of fracking, not long-term reserve projections. Officials drafting California’s initial regulations on a use have been looking closely during that study, reason alone for serve exclusively reviewed, severe systematic investigate that could scrupulously surprise policymakers.

The marquis regard plaguing Californians about fracking in their state has to do with another important geologic feature: the San Andreas Fault and a cousins. The categorical error line lies underneath areas now or potentially being fracked, as do many tributaries and obtuse faults. (Don’t be fooled by a tenure “lesser,” as they’re each bit as able of producing a good quake; take an online debate of trembler country.)

Scientists have found that some earthquakes elsewhere in a U.S. seem to have been induced by wastewater injection wells in Ohio, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Those spots aren’t accurately “earthquake country.” Given that, concerns about triggering seismic activity in one of a many active upheaval zones in a universe do not seem misplaced.

Here’s a thing: for decades, officials, geologists and Californians comparison have been waiting, formulation and scheming for “The Big One,” a subsequent vital upheaval (an sequence of bulk of 7.0 or some-more on a Richter scale). In fact, Los Angeles County has one-fourth of all a seismic risk in a whole U.S.; during any time, a chairman is within 10 miles of an active fault. So wouldn’t it mount to reason that any activity that could indeed incite a harmful trembler competence infer some-more dear than it’s worth, ultimately?

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for some-more associated news on this topic.