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Northern California Gaslands – Tight Sands And Two Bans On Fracking
Tim Kustic, California's oil and gas supervisor has said -
Northern California Gaslands – Tight Sands And Two Bans On Fracking
What's at stake? Water, Ecosystem Functions and Services, Public Health, Democracy, Jobs
“Ordinary citizens using tools of Dignity, Self Respect, Common Sense, and Perseverance -
can influence solutions to important problems in our society. A good leader does nothing. A good leader builds other leaders. A good leader provides vision, hope, support, and voice. And that voice belongs to everyone.” (Lois Gibbs)
If The People Lead, The Leaders Will Follow
“200 Frack-Free Butte County volunteers and more than 10,000 Butte County citizens, are urging the Butte County Board of Supervisors to follow the example of the Board of Supervisors in San Benito and Santa Barbara Counties, who voted to place their initiative to prohibit land uses related to fracking, cyclic steam injection and other high-intensity petroleum operations on the November 2014 ballot.”
“It is both a political and moral imperative that the Supervisors live up to their vote of April 8th to ban fracking, which we also believe to be in the best interests of all the residents of our beautiful county.”
“On June 16 the Frack-Free Butte County campaign was advised by the county clerk that its petition was rejected after a letter was filed by a law firm named Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni that raises inconsequential issues about the petition.”
The absence of a six-word phrase - “The people of Butte County ordain” … coupled with the lack of some bold typeface was pounced on by industry.
See article in Chico News and Review;
Big Oil-Funded Legal Challenge May Kill Anti-Fracking Initiative On A Technicality
For Butte County Voters The Intent Is Clear
“The group takes some responsibility for the petition being sent back: “We’re a grassroots organization and have never [attempted a ballot initiative] before, and it was our decision to try to do this among ourselves, and locally. That appears to have been a bad decision, because we didn’t get everything right. On the other hand, these are superficial problems, and inconsequential compared to the actual language of the initiative, which is sound.”
“Sabrina Lockhart, spokeswoman for Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Coalition, said her organization opposes bans because fracking can help lead the nation away from dependence on foreign oil and is a boon to the state’s economy.”
Sounds a lot like America's Resources For America:
Except That China Owns Half The Unconventional Oil and Gas Leases From Alberta To Texas
Northern California Rivers Flow Into Southern California Frac Wells
There's enormous water usage by unconvetional oil and gas resource extraction in California; Cyclic Steam Injection Enhanced Oil Recovery [of] Full Field Flood Scenarios, Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) used in the extraction of Heavy Oil and Tar Sands at Oxnard etc.) and the impacts on the water cycle of over 100 California Contaminated Aquifers (Permitted for 'EXEMPTION' under the SDWA for industrial use as allowed in SB 4).
“More than 100 exemptions for natural aquifers have been granted in California, some to dispose of drilling and fracking waste in the state's driest parts. Though most date back to the 1980s, the most recent exemption was approved in 2009 in Kern County”.
HEADLINES January 3, 2014
Many California Aquifers Declining, Calls Grow For More Oversight Of Groundwater
One of the main concerns over fracking is groundwater contamination. Yet DOGGR – the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources added language to the Interim Well Stimulation SB 4 package, after close of comments on December 24, 2013 that clarifies the term 'protected water' under the Safe Drinking Water Act, which exempts fracking.
SB 4 Does Not Have A Supercedure Clause And Counties Can Enact Bans On Fracking
“On April 8, 2014, the Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to direct staff to develop an ordinance banning fracking within Butte County. County Counsel, Mr. Bruce Alpert, has completed extensive research on a fracking ordinance at your direction. The public needs the opportunity now to scrutinize and review your proposed ordinance.”
“Therefore, we urge you, the Butte County Board of Supervisors, to place the county-developed ordinance on your July 29, 2014 agenda.”
“Frack-Free Butte County’s goal continues to be to ensure Butte County’s water supply is safe, clean, and abundant and to protect the County’s agricultural legacy.”
“Frack-Free Butte County is a grassroots effort to ban hydraulic fracturing and other extreme extraction technologies in Butte County, California and has opportunities for volunteers.”
Their Twitter handle is https://twitter.com/@frackfree_butte, and web site URL is
For more information call 530-403-7401.
Visit the Frack-Free Butte County Facebook page!
“If you want to change the world, start in communities, and link those communities together. And that's what is happening with hydraulic fracturing - fracking is linking global communities each working independently to solve their own problems locally and nationally.” Lois Gibbs Speaking at Harvard (Published May 13, 2014 approx 1 hr)
Lois Gibbs has been a leader in the grassroots environmental health movement for the last 35 years. In 1981 she created the Center for Health, Environment and Justice which has helped over 11,000 groups with organizing, technical and general information nationwide. With 5 honorary PhDs and several books to her name, Lois Gibbs shares a wealth of information, and is a true 'accidental leader'.
The Distraction Of Fracking
Throughout 2013, most California fracking debates understandably focused on maps depicting the oil rich geology of the Monterey Shale. Unassociated gas reservoirs, and the changing methods of production and expansion of exploration and lease areas in the Northern part of the State and North Coast, were left out off meeting agendas. Unless drilled on the subject, DOGGR would not discuss the terms and even left it off the presentation slides and flip charts. Discussion was short, any production was framed as past tense and producing gas plays were in the upper San Joaquin Delta, and Northern Sacramento Basins.
But there's way more at stake. Exploratory wells are confidential. Interestingly, natural gas production zones often overlay basin aquifers throughout the State.
Basin Aquifer Exemptions DOGGR Regulations SB4
article and linked PDF (24 pages 2.5 MB)
Aquifer Exemptions are based first on hydrocarbon production, and weighted against the economic feasibility of hooking up to a 'public water system'.
Northern California Unassociated Natural Gas Basins
In the movie - Gasland 2 - a large map is shown that depicts Northern California Unassociated Natural Gas Basins. At 12mins 54 secs into the 2 hr and 5 min movie Gasland 2, a National Map is shown. While it makes no distinction between oil and gas reservoirs and unassociated natural gas reservoirs, the Northern California Gas Fields are depicted up through Butte and Tehama counties.
SDWA 40 CFR 141.2 defines public water systems as those systems: that provide piped water for human consumption and are equipped with at least 15 connections or regularly serve at least 25 people. Public water systems include the following: Community water systems; Nontransient noncommunity water systems; Noncommunity water systems. States are required to establish “wellhead protection areas.”
California Household Water Usage Is Miniscule Compared To Enhanced Oil Recovery By Steam
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Steam Injection, per acre and per Township drainage (New Technology Concepts), uses more quantities of both water and energy than fracking in California.
Steam Injection Is Literally Global Warming
60 Million Gallons of Northern California Water Is Turned To Steam Each Day - in just one oilfield. Compared to the water usage of a single family of four, in a 3 bedroom household, that's roughly equivalent to the yearly water usage of 700-1000 families in California, each day.
The 2013 California Green Building Code Water Use Modifications states: “A new 3 bedroom single family home with 4 occupants is modeled to use, 174,000 gallons of water per year. The majority of this is for landscaping.” “Combining indoor and outdoor water savings would reduce this amount by another 38,000 gallons per year.” Household water usage is miniscule compared to enhanced oil recovery by steam.
In one week, in one oil field, the yearly water usage of between 5,000 – 7,000 California families is pumped down oil wells into the ground, as steam. It comes back out with the oil, as produced water. Water from the California Aqueduct, turned to steam is injected into the earth. “We pump 1.4 million barrels of water converted to steam into the ground per day.”
In the video Mixing Oil & Water, it is shown how just one oil company injects steam into the ground for 7 days in a row, then there is a soaking period followed by a production cycle. As production falls off, steam injection is again, applied – hence the term “Cyclic Steam Injection”.
Mixing Oil & Water: 4 min video
“It takes 81 trillion btu’s everyday just to warm the ground here at Kern. 25 square miles to 1600 feet deep. It takes so much energy, enough to power one large air conditioner for every human being on the planet.” From Kern County, California to the Alaskan Tundra - Extreme Oil Drilling (National Geographic)
It takes 81 Trillion btu's per day to heat Kern County to 200 degrees.
How many mercury light bulbs does it take to save one billion kW per hour?
The 2012 KQED film "State of Thirst" video on California Water Management contains a clear animation of the flow of water throughout the State!
SB 4 update:
The California Department of Conservation (DOC) has sent out public notice regarding revisions to the proposed regulations under SB 4 for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production. The notice also includes information regarding documents that have been added to the official rulemaking file and the dates, times, and locations of upcoming public comment hearings. This public notice begins a 45-day public comment period which will end at 5pm on July 28, 2014.
These regulations, are to go into effect on January 1, 2015.
To ensure the major requirements of SB 4 are addressed in the interim, DOC has had emergency regulations in place since January 1, 2014 and those emergency regulations are currently being readopted.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
BEGINING JUNE 13, 2014 AND ENDING JULY 28, 2014
Office of Administrative Law Notice File Number: Z-2013-1105-01
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the California Department of Conservation (DOC) has revised the text of the proposed regulations in the rulemaking action entitled SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations. A public comment period on the originally proposed regulations was held from November 15, 2013 through January 14, 2014, pursuant to the Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action mailed to interested parties and published in the California Regulatory Notice Register on November 15, 2013 (Register 2014, No. 46-Z, 11/15/2013).
Public comments were also accepted orally at five public comment hearings conducted during the public comment period. The revised text of the proposed regulations is now available on the Department’s internet website at:
Text may also be obtained by contacting Tim Shular, Regulations Manager, by phone at
(916) 322-3080, or by mail or email at the address listed below. The revisions to the
originally proposed text of the regulations modify Sections 1751, 1761, 1780, 1781,
1782, 1783, 1783.1, 1783.2, 1783.3, 1784, 1784.1, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, and 1789,
and add Sections 1777.4, 1784.2, and 1785.1 of Title 14 of the California Code of
The Department considers the revisions to be sufficiently related changes as defined in California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 42.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN
The following documents are being added to the rulemaking record for the above referenced SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations rulemaking:
1. Well Stimulation Treatment Neighbor Notification Form (1/15 version)
2. Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources Discussion of Calculated Volume Threshold
These documents are available for inspection on the Department’s internet website at
COMMENT SUBMISSION: Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments to the Department related to the revisions to the proposed text of the regulations or regarding the documents added to the rulemaking record.
Comments may be submitted by email:
DOGGRRegulations [at] conservation.ca.gov
Comments may be submitted by facsimile:
(FAX) to (916) 324-0948
Comments may be submitted by postal mail to:
Department of Conservation
801 K Street, MS 24-02
Sacramento, CA 95814
ATTN: Well Stimulation Regulations
The written comment period closes at 5:00 p.m. on July 28, 2014.
The DOC will consider only comments received at the Department of Conservation’s offices by that time.
PUBLIC COMMENT HEARINGS: During the public comment period, public comment hearings will be conducted for the purpose of allowing people to submit comments orally. At the public comment hearings, any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may present oral or written comments to the Department related to the revisions to the proposed text of the regulations or regarding the documents added to the rulemaking record.
Public comment hearings will be conducted at the following times and places:
• Santa Maria - July 15, 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Santa Barbara County Supervisors’
Hearing Room, 511 East Lakeside Pkwy.
• Long Beach - July 17, 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Long Beach Convention &
Entertainment Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.
• Sacramento - July 21, 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Natural Resources Agency Auditorium,
1416 Ninth Street.
• Salinas - July 23, 4:00pm - 7:00pm. National Steinbeck Center, Salinas Room,
One Main Street.
• Bakersfield - July 23, 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Kern County Board of Supervisors’
Chambers, 1115 Truxtun Avenue.
Tim Kustic, California's oil and gas supervisor has said -
“As far as shale gas, there isn’t any significant shale gas operation in the state. There has been fracing, but it’s been tight gas.” Kustic said “the vast majority of fracing that’s been done in California has been done in vertical wells,” including the stimulation applied to tight sands in conventional reservoirs in the Sacramento Basin, in the northern half of the state."
Will the future of Fracking in Northern California Gaslands be vertical, or horizontal? All the while, communities, municipalities, counties are rising up together in California to ban fracking.
STEAM INJECTION IS LITERALLY GLOBAL WARMING
constant comments, and informative research links;