Skip to main content

SB 1132, the proposed moratorium on fracking (and acidization), was introduced earlier this year by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). If enacted, SB 1132 would place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, acidizing treatments and other stimulation treatments in California.


On April 8th, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water Quality advanced SB 1132 with a 5-2-2 vote. Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) voted against the measure. The two abstentions came from Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) and Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). The abstaining democrats and the opposing republicans argued that the measure would impact constituents that work at oil and gas fields in their districts. Then, on April 30th, SB 1132 passed through the Senate Environmental Quality Committee with a 5-2 vote. Senator Ted Gaines (R–Roseville) and Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) voted against it. Once again, the opposing republicans feared that many jobs would be lost if such a moratorium passed. Senator Mitchell responded to these concerns: “My community needs jobs, but those jobs need to be safe for workers and surrounding communities.”


The bill made its way through the Committee on Appropriations on May 19th and was put into suspense. The bill will receive a final ruling in the coming days. For members in this committee, this vote will determine if the health and safety of their constituents truly outweighs the financial contributions of the oil and gas industry. The democrats on this committee include: Senators Kevin De Leon, Ricardo Lara, Jerry Hill, Darrell Steinberg, and Alex Padilla. The Republicans are Mimi Walters and Ted Gaines.

The Oil & Gas Industry Is Fracking Our Democracy

A recent study was conducted by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause called "Big Oil Floods the Capitol: How California’s Oil Companies Funnel Funds Into the Legislature". The study's findings are quite sobering: "Over the past 15 years, Big Oil spent a whopping $143.3 million on political candidates and campaigns." Says the report. "In addition to its political contributions, Big Oil exerts considerable influence lobbying in Sacramento. Big Oil employs high profile, high powered lobbyists to ensure their interests are represented. In the past 15 years, the price tag for these lobbyists has totaled $123.6 million." When you do the math on Big Oil's expenditures in Sacramento over the past 15 years, the staggering total amounts to $266.9 million.

In just the past five years alone, the Oil and Gas Industry has flooded $56,633,498 into Sacramento.

Here's the full list of contributors:

1. The Western States Petroleum Association: $23,987,896
2. Chevron: $13,457,771
3. BP Global: $3,251,060
4. AERA Energy (jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil): $2,513,993
5. Conoco Phillips: $2,344,510
6. Occidental: $2,256,230
7. Shell: $2,127,881
8. Exxon: $2,105,419
9. California Independent Petroleum Association: $1,616,756
10. Phillips66: $1,275,199
11. Fueling California: $646,799
12. California Independent Oil Manufacturers Association: $447,528
13. Tesoro: $313,999
14. Valero: $288,459

"The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento, spent over $4.67 million, more than any other interest group, while lobbying [California's] state government in 2013, according to data released by the Secretary State’s Office and compiled by Capitol Weekly." The WSPA is by far the largest spender in Sacramento politics. They happen to be the largest source of industry bullshit as well.

Jobs, Jobs, Economy & Jobs

The Oil and Gas industry continues to masquerade our environmental, health and climate concerns with the typical rhetoric of a booming economy and a plethora of jobs.
Earlier this year, the Western States Petroleum Association released a report to emphasize the economic and job benefits that the Oil and Gas industry has delivered to California. The report found that Oil & Gas industry "is a major employer and leading economic driver in California, responsible for 468,000 jobs in 2012, or 2.3 percent of California's employment." To quickly debunk this hubris, all you have to do is read the actual report and break down the numbers:

Employment (jobs): Direct (188,500), Indirect (102,280), and Induced (177,240)
TOTAL 468,000 (Percent of California Total Employment 2.3%)

Lumped into the 279,520 Indirect and Induced jobs are things like Wholesale and Retail Trade Brokers (100,960 jobs), Public Utility Jobs (33,350), Health & Social Services (33,270), Accommodation & Food Services (25,410), Finance and insurance (21,950), Real estate and rental (12,490), Arts, Educational services (7,980), entertainment and recreation (7,970), Ag, forestry, fish & hunting (1,430), and Other services (20,800). All of these jobs exist without the Oil and Gas industry. Perhaps the only real induced jobs are the jobs for "Waste Management" which they lump into an indirect/induced category titled: "Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services" which they claim roughly 24,020 jobs are created thanks to the Oil and Gas industry. Given the clustered title of various jobs---most of which would exist without the oil and gas industry---we can generously attribute ~12,000 indirect and induced jobs to the oil and gas industry. Those are jobs that are literally induced by the cluster bomb of toxic sludge, chemically infused waste water, and radioactive produced water that the industry creates on a daily basis.

The 188,500 Direct Jobs the industry is boasting consists of Private Utility Distribution (32,670), Dealers and Wholesalers (10,270), Refinery Jobs (12,760), Transportation (2,750), Construction (11,710), Gas Station Jobs (56,230), Petrochemical manufacturing (10), and Petroleum lubricating oil and grease manufacturing (700). However, these are jobs that are not really dependent on California's Oil and Gas industry. Gas Stations exist without California oil and gas production--in fact, the vast majorit of our gas station fuel comes from out of state. The refineries in California refine crudes from all over the world. The manufacturing employees are manufacturing products that have already been refined; they are not dealing with California crudes. Transportation, Dealing, Wholesaling, and Construction are not beholden to the oil and Gas industry; and the utilities will still exist in a 100% renewable energy world.

So, if we subtract these auxiliary jobs, we get something like this: Oil & gas extraction (45,840), Support activities for oil and gas operations (10,060), Oil & gas field machinery & equipment manufacturing (1,920), and Drilling oil & gas wells (3,620). This gives us a more realistic number of 61,440 direct jobs.

The industry claimed that they were responsible for the creation of 468,000 jobs. In reality, they have created 61,440 direct jobs and maybe 12,000 indirect jobs as of 2013---that's a grand total of 73,440 jobs. The WSPA and other industry lobbyists are going to use their inflated numbers to tout the economic benefits of oil & gas production. They will insist that the continuation of fracking will create innumerable jobs for unemployed Californians. In reality, the WSPA is full of shit and the numbers they tout are heinously inaccurate.

Same Bullshit, Different State

Of course, inflated and misleading job numbers are nothing new to the Oil and Gas industry. A six state study conducted last year found that the industry has a strong tendency to promise nearly eight times as many jobs than what they eventually create. "Between 2005 and 2012, less than four new shale-related jobs have been created for each new well. This figure stands in sharp contrast to the claims in some industry-financed studies, which have included estimates as high as 31 for the number of jobs created per well drilled." That's a difference of nearly 700% difference in job claims per well. "Employment estimates have been overstated, and the industry and its boosters have used inappropriate employment numbers, including equating new hires with new jobs and using ancillary job figures that largely have nothing to do with drilling, even after the flaws in those numbers have been brought to their attention."

Food For Thought: Given the industry's claim that they've been safely fracking in California for over 60 years; and given their claim that fracking creates jobs; with 60 years of so-called "fracking job creation", why has the oil and gas industry only managed to create 61,440 direct jobs in California?

The Cleaner Jobs

The Core Clean Economy, as defined by Next10, "encompasses businesses that provide the products and services that allow the entire economy to transition away from fossil fuels and improve efficiencies in the use of all natural resources." This includes: Clean Energy Generation, Energy Efficiency, Clean Transportation, Energy Storage, Green Building, Clean Industrial Support, and Energy Infrastructure. "Employment in California’s Core Clean Economy has grown four times faster than the total state economy over the past ten years, reaching more than 176,000 jobs in January 2011."


The oil and gas industry has been fracking for over 60 years with 61,440 direct jobs to show for it. Taken together, clean energy has created 176,000 direct jobs in California. Even if we compare the industry claims of 188,000 direct jobs to the jobs that have been created by clean energy, clean energy wins out. If we extrapolate the clean energy job creation for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, with the same rate of economic growth that took place from 2010 to 2011, we find a total job creation of 180,250. So, given the fact that first mega-watt system ever installed in California debuted in 1982, it's fair to say, quantitatively, that we've been paneling for over 30 years with nearly the same amount of direct jobs that the industry loves to tout. In reality, using the more factually adjusted 61,440 direct jobs, it's fair to say that in roughly half the time, the Clean Energy industry has created nearly three times as many direct jobs in California than the fossil fuel industry. A transition to a 100% renewable energy future will only create more clean energy jobs.

Pay-To-Frack Politics

It's easy to blind politicians with fanciful jobs numbers and economic benefits. It's even easier when the industry can hire firms to conduct reports to show the economic and job creation benefits of oil and gas operations. And of course, the endless campaign contributions, bribes and lobbying efforts makes it pretty easy to pay-to-frack in California. When they say they've been safely fracking in California for over 60 years; when they say they have followed the strictest code of conduct; and when they insist they have complied with regulations; it makes it very easy for the industry to fracture the common sense of our naive politicians.

The industry has complied with regulations, sure, but that's easy to do when there are no regulations to comply with. Their code of conduct is "profits before people" and "try not to get caught". So, when they say they've done it safely for 60 years, what they mean is: "Trust us, we have always done it safely. We promise." What is their definition of safety? More importantly, what deserves more attention, the baseless claims and arbitrary promises of a few big companies; or the very real and justified concerns of millions of Californians?

Clean Jobs > Fracking Jobs

In roughly half the time, the Clean Energy industry has created nearly three times as many direct jobs in California than the fossil fuel industry. The problems that expanded fracking will bring to communities throughout California are real and well-documented. The threat that fracking brings to our climate is real. No amount of regulations can make fracking safe, and SB 4 is not the strictest regulations in the world. In a recent study conducted by the Center of Biological Diversity, CBD issued this statement in a press release: "In a letter to the governor, the Center pointed out that state regulators with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources have failed to disclose legally mandated reports for 47 frack jobs and notices for more than 100 uses of other risky oil production techniques. “This lack of disclosure underscores the failure of current regulations and the need for strong action that will protect public health and safety and the environment.”

The threats are real:

Earthquakes: It has been shown that fracking and waste-water injection can both induce earthquakes. Ohio, Oklahoma, and North East Texas were once home to some of the lowest rates of seismic activity. In Oklahoma, fracking and waste-water injection have caused a staggering spike in seismic events over the past few years. In California, we are the most seismically active state in the nation.


Contamination: There have been more than 100 proven cases of water contamination from fracking operations.


Proximity: Fracking and Acidizing operations are popping up next door to hospitals, schools and densely populated neighborhoods. Fumes from these operations have caused nearby residents to break out in rashes, experience nose bleeds and migraines, and cause respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular complications.

Methane: When leaking wells make up more than 1% to 2% of the fracking fleet, the leakage of methane during shale gas development makes fracked natural gas more carbon intensive than burning coal. The leakage rates nationwide have been measured to be a staggering 5.7% +/- 2.3%. In the Los Angeles basin, leakage has been measured to be somewhere around 17%---worse yet, in California, we are primarily fracking for oil, some of which is more carbon intensive than the Alberta Tar Sands.

Water: Modern Fracking uses copious amounts of fresh water to complete their fracking operations. Fracking, in it's new form, can use anywhere from 2 to 8 Million gallons of fresh water per frack. During a record setting drought in California, this is the last thing we should be using water for. For the moment, we aren't doing a large amount of fracking in California, relying on methods like cyclic steam injection and water flooding. So, as it stands today, we are using 100,000 to 300,000 gallons of water per well. However, as the WSPA admits, the onset of a fracking boom could easily change that.



From Boom To Bust

In California, the WSPA and the rest of the oil and gas industry likes to tout the already debunked USC job creation study that claims that a fracking boom in California would boost the state’s economic activity by 14.3 percent.

As Bloomberg reports, "such drilling in the Monterey Shale Formation, in addition to increasing per-capita gross domestic product, may add as much as $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue and as many as 2.8 million jobs by 2020, according to the report released yesterday by the Los Angeles-based university."

That study had a lot to do with the pending "oil boom" in the Monterey Shale formation, which, at the time, was thought to have something like 15.7 Billion Barrels of oil reserves trapped inside of it. Of course, months later, that number was reduced to 13.7 Billion barrels of oil. That number, again, has taken a significant blow. News Flash: That number has been downgraded to 0.6 Billion Barrels of recoverable Monterey Shale Oil. "Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California's vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national "black gold mine" of petroleum." Writes the LA Times. "Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said."

Some Math: 600 Million barrels of recoverable Monterey Shale Oil is 25 times less than what was projected by the industry funded USC fracking jobs study. So, let's first divide that 2.8 Million jobs by 8 in order to properly anticipate industry job inflation; and then we'll divide by 25 to adequately adjust these numbers to reflect the shale reality of a 96% downgrade of oil reserves.

Calculation: (2.8 Million jobs) divided by (8) divided by (25) = 14,000 total jobs

Furthermore, these are jobs that champion a fatality rate that is seven times higher than all other workers in the United States. In fact, from 2007 to 2012, jobs in the oil and gas fields killed 664 workers, making oil and gas field jobs among the deadliest jobs in America.

So, do we want to let the oil and gas industry create 14,000 hazardous jobs over the next 6 years and create a minuscule economic boost at the expense of our environment, the climate, and public health? Or will our politicians hear the demands of the majority of Californians and put an end to fracking?

Last year, a poll found that 58% of California voters supported a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other forms of advanced well stimulation. A poll released earlier this week shows that 68% of California Voters support a moratorium on fracking, acidizing and other forms of unconventional well stimulation. That means that 24% of the people who didn't support a moratorium last year have experienced a change of heart on the issue. The study also found that 78% of California Democrats support a moratorium on fracking.

Vote YES on SB 1132: California Needs A Fracking Moratorium Now

The public's opinion on fracking has taken a monumental shift over the past few years and the anti-fracking movement in California is growing stronger by the day. The Democratic party's rank and file members have made their voices heard; and we will hold our elected officials accountable on this issue from here on out. The data is mounting and the evidence continues to unravel the veil of deception that the industry has cast over the real dangers of fracking. The environmental, climate and health concerns are real; the scientific evidence grows stronger by the day. The only thing that must change is the will of our elected leaders. Will they remain beholden to the oil and gas empire, blinded by the dark side of money, deception, and deceit? Or will they finally see past the illusion that has been cast over them, and finally represent the people they were elected to serve? One thing is for sure: The anti-fracking movement in California will continue to grow; we will ban fracking in our state.


"You do not measure the fruit of your action, you have to measure your obligation for action. You have to find out what's the right thing to do. THAT is your duty. Whether you win or lose is not the issue. The obligation is to do the right thing."
- Vandana Shiva

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, DK GreenRoots, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, California politics, and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent way to conclude this (15+ / 0-)

    blogathon.  

    We got some excellent news a little while  ago.  

    CA Senate Approps passes fracking moratorium despite Big Oil dollars

    Now bring things over the finish line and make a phone call.




    California Fracking Moratorium Blogathon
    May 20-May 23, 2014

    Key votes will be held this week on California SB 1132, which imposes a moratorium on fracking. If the bill fails, the legislative process toward moratorium must restart next January.

    Please join us for a blogathon May 20-23 in a campaign to tell lawmakers to support this bill. This is a coordinated effort with a coalition of more than a dozen NGOs, including Earth Works, Sierra Club, and Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.

    And please call key lawmakers, ASAP. Tell them YES on SB 1132!

    Sen. Darrell Steinberg: (916) 651-4006
    Sen. Kevin De Leon: (916) 651-4022
    Sen. Ricardo Lara: (916) 651-4033
    Sen. Ed Hernandez: (916) 651-4024
    Sen. Cathleen Galgiani: (916) 651-4005
    Sen. Ben Hueso: (916) 651-4040
    Sen. Lou Correa: (916) 651-4034
    Sen. Carol Liu: (916) 651-4025
    Sen. Richard Roth: (916) 651-4031
    Sen. Norma Torres: (916) 651-4032

    Please Help Pass a Moratorium on Fracking in California!


    Photograph Credit: EarthWorks.

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:16:25 PM PDT

  •  Terrific diary... (11+ / 0-)

    ...and an inspirational blogathon.  We need a few victories.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:45:12 PM PDT

  •  So appreciate your post to conclude this blogathon (8+ / 0-)
    Their code of conduct is "profits before people" and "try not to get caught". So, when they say they've done it safely for 60 years, what they mean is: "Trust us, we have always done it safely. We promise." What is their definition of safety? More importantly, what deserves more attention, the baseless claims and arbitrary promises of a few big companies; or the very real and justified concerns of millions of Californians?
    You got it there!

    Now on to the VOTE!

    If you're not terrified into action by the IPCC's 5th Assessment , you're not human.

    by boatsie on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:53:41 PM PDT

  •  very nice five diaries, Damien :) n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, YucatanMan, eyo, Mary Mike
  •  Next step made easy by Earthworks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, YucatanMan, eyo, Mary Mike

    we need to tell our representatives to support SB 1132, which would put a moratorium on fracking and require an expanded Environmental Impact Review of its impacts on communities and the environment.

    TAKE ACTION: Tell your senator to support SB 1132, and protect all Californians from fracking!

    If you're not terrified into action by the IPCC's 5th Assessment , you're not human.

    by boatsie on Fri May 23, 2014 at 10:03:01 PM PDT

  •  To the Bat Phone! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, eyo

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Fri May 23, 2014 at 10:14:16 PM PDT

  •  143 million is not a lot. (0+ / 0-)

    "Over the past 15 years, Big Oil spent a whopping $143.3 million on political candidates and campaigns."

    Considering 6 billion was spent in 2012 alone. 143 million is um well chump change.

  •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
    In reality, they have created 61,440 direct jobs and maybe 12,000 indirect jobs as of 2013---that's a grand total of 73,440 jobs.
    That is still a considerable amount of employment which will apparently be lost due to the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing you're advocating.
    Contamination: There have been more than 100 proven cases of water contamination from fracking operations.
    That doesn't compute.   There is no indication that Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection attributed the cases cited to being caused by hydraulic fracturing so your suggestion that "fracking operations" caused the cases of water contamination from oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania is erroneous.  

    Even the Dimock, PA cases of water contamination were not deemed by PA DEP to be caused by hydraulic fracturing.  Instead, well cementing and construction problems were the cause....not hydraulic fracturing.

    The Salon article indicates 98 cases over a period from 2008 to 2013, so that would be 98 / 6 or about 16 cases per year out of all of the hundreds of natural gas wells developed in that state.

    Methane: When leaking wells make up more than 1% to 2% of the fracking fleet, the leakage of methane during shale gas development makes fracked natural gas more carbon intensive than burning coal.
    This claim has been rejected by U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE as not valid, primarily because it assumes far greater methane release during well completion activities than is realistic when flare control is available to oxidize the methane prior to release, or when field gas is collected for marketing during well completions instead of being flared.
    The leakage rates nationwide have been measured to be a staggering 5.7% +/- 2.3%. In the Los Angeles basin, leakage has been measured to be somewhere around 17%---
    There was no emissions measurement at least by emission sampling of individual emission units in any of the aircraft studies.  All of the aircraft and tower methane studies are ambient air contamination determinations, not measurement of emissions at emission units.   While the aircraft/tower ambient methane studies produce a quantitative estimate of emission rates across an entire geographical area, they do not make measurements of emissions.  Instead, such studies use model determinations in an attempt to put a quantitative number on emissions from emission units.

    This means that predictions about emission units and emission rates is subject to error introduced by application of the models to relate aircraft ambient methane data at altitude with ground-based emission units.   Typically, such determination have to made several assumptions about non-oil/gas-industry target emission units.   This introduces considerable variances to predicted estimates.

    Aircraft and tower ambient methane determinations and related modeling determinations and estimates are important work to address, but such studies are not emissions sampling of emission units operated by the oil and gas industry.

    Finally, aircraft and tower ambient methane determinations say nothing at all on whether methane releases are caused by hydraulic fracturing.   During hydraulic fracturing, methane emission from casing wellheads is physically impossible because of the high pressure hydraulic liquid pressure maintained at the casing wellhead.

    After hydraulic fracturing has been completed, methane emissions from produced water tanks and produced liquid hydrocarbon tanks is possible, unless such emissions are controlled with readily available closed vent system and flare technology.

    worse yet, in California, we are primarily fracking for oil, some of which is more carbon intensive than the Alberta Tar Sands.
    Only a fraction of California liquid hydrocarbon development even approaches this concern....and those units would be ones where tertiary recovery methods using steam injection are employed.  Steam cycling is explicitly stated as not coming under SB 1132....See Section 2(b) of the bill at...

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/...

    As a result, the California "fracking moratorium" does not affect these sort of tertiary recovery operations because these are not considered "well stimulation" under the bill.

    Here is data on greenhouse gas emission intensity on a lifecycle basis for liquid fuels:

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/...

    Note that the greenhouse gas intensities for tar sands heavy sour crude vastly exceed the California average for liquids on greenhouse gas intensity at 12.9 gCO2e/MJ.  While some California fields indeed have a higher GHG intensity that both this state average and for the intensities listed for tar sands sources, those are not the majority of CA liquids production fields.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site