opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
30 Sep 2014
The GOP's Silicon Valley future

Sen. Rand Paul, in his latest effort to put California at the center of his candidacy for president, has … Read More.

29 Sep 2014
Tell Candidates to Support the ERA

When politicians come asking for your vote this fall, especially those seeking to serve or remain in Congress,… Read More.

29 Sep 2014
Holder's Loyalty Was Always Misplaced

If membership in Barack Obama's Cabinet was based on merit, Thursday's announcement of the impending … Read More.

Hard to Find Fault in Fracking


An audience of almost 500 — comprised of concerned citizens, activists and candidates for city and county office — gathered at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday for a symposium on hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.

The symposium was led by a diverse panel, made up of a combination of geologists, environmental consultants, state employees and industry representatives. Their goal was to give an impartial analysis of the many aspects of fracking as a practice: How it is performed, what the effects on water and air quality have been, where in California it is being done and whether residents should be concerned.

Orange County residents were watching closely, knowing that California's Monterey Shale extends under some land in north county and provides economic incentives for the drilling practice.

The process of fracking, explained Dr. Steve Bohlen of the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, is meant to "circumvent" the natural process of retrieving hydrocarbons from buried source rock. It does this by injecting a fluid that is 99.5 percent water and sand, according to environmental consultant and Brea resident Mark Zeko, with the rest being made up of various chemicals that assist in holding the fractures open.

These chemicals have been the focus of concerns, but the panel suggested that the risk of contamination was low.

Mr. Zeko cited a 2009 incident in Kern County, where 96 million barrels worth of wastewater leeched into a farmer's property, but noted that the incident resulted from a practice of holding wastewater in large, on-site pits — something that law now prohibits. Wastewater must be contained in large barrels.

The California Council on Science and Technology, a state-established, nonpartisan research organization, also released a report in August saying that no risk of contamination could be found. And while the report suffered from some gaps in data, it added to the chorus of affirmations on display Tuesday.

Orange County residents were concerned because of fracking being done in the Brea-Olinda field by LINN Energy, which has drilled 19 producing wells since acquiring rights to the land in 2006, according to Trent Rosenlieb.

These wells are vertical, as opposed to horizontal, meaning they go deeper into the ground and are therefore farther away from groundwater stores. There is also less water pumped underground in California, reducing the risk of earthquake aggravation.

What we learned, by night's end, is that the notoriety of fracking is largely undeserved. The practice, now regulated under Senate Bill 4, which passed in 2013, is being closely monitored by private and public bodies. It has the potential to be a great economic boon to the county, the state and the country as a whole. Events like those on Tuesday should continue to alleviate fears.




0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Newspaper Contributors
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Walter Williams
Walter E. WilliamsUpdated 1 Oct 2014
Patrick Buchanan
Pat BuchananUpdated 30 Sep 2014
Dennis Prager
Dennis PragerUpdated 30 Sep 2014

4 Dec 2008 Big 3 Offer Painful But Realistic Path to Revival

23 Sep 2008 Mexico's Violence

3 May 2013 Don't Sign On to Internet Sales Tax