June 7, 2011 in Business

California considers fracking rules

 

Following the discovery that a controversial oil extraction technique has quietly been used for years in California, state legislators have introduced a bill that would regulate so-called fracking.

The bill, which passed the Assembly last week, would require companies to alert the state about what chemicals they are using, how much water they’re using and where they are fracking.

The industry claims fracking, or hydraulic fracturing – a method of extracting hard-to-reach gas and oil by pummeling rocks deep underground with high-pressure water, sand and chemicals – has been safely used for decades.

But critics worry it can contaminate groundwater, cause air pollution and trigger small earthquakes.

The measure also requires Senate approval.

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