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Our Energy Future: Renewed or Game Over? Activist San Diego April 15, 2013 Peg Mitchell.

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Presentation on theme: "Our Energy Future: Renewed or Game Over? Activist San Diego April 15, 2013 Peg Mitchell."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our Energy Future: Renewed or Game Over? Activist San Diego April 15, 2013 Peg Mitchell

2 California’s New “Black Gold” Rush The Monterey Shale formation covers 1,750 square miles from southern to central California. Believed to contain more shale oil than North Dakota’s Bakken and Texas’s Eagle Ford combined. Monterey may hold about 15.4 billion barrels of oil – roughly half the amount of conventional oil that Saudi Arabia has and 64% of total 48 contiguous states. The oil is 6,000 to 15,000 feet below the surface. Because of the San Andreas fault, the shale formations are folded like an accordion rather than stacked on top of each other. California lags behind most other states in regulating fracking. Draft regulations issued Dec 2012 but are inadequate.

3 Anatomy of a Fracked Well Image courtesy of

4 Fracking used in 9 out of 10 wells nationwide; 11,400 new wells fractured annually. Typical fracked well uses between 2 - 8 million gallons of locally sourced fresh water (12 Olympic swimming pools). 5 mil gallons can supply fresh water to 100 households for a year. Fracking fluid is 90% water, 9% “proppants” like sand, glass beads, to prop open the fractures. 1% are chemical additives. From 2005 to 2009, 14 major gas & oil companies used 750 different chemicals. 25 of these chemicals are listed as hazardous pollutants under the Clean Air Act, 9 are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act and 14 are known or possible human carcinogens, including naphthalene and benzene. Oil and Gas companies are exempt from regulation under 7 federal laws including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts (the 2005 Halliburton Loophole) and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Central Valley, where the majority of fracking is taking place, is already under major pressure from contaminated drinking water sources. Nitrate contamination, for example, from agriculture is a major threat to many communities’ drinking water sources. Flowback water contains lots of salt, along with naturally occurring radioactive material, mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals and cannot be disposed of via municipal waste water facilities. Pollution from truck traffic, chemical contamination around storage tanks, and habitat fragmentation and damage from drilling to environmentally sensitive areas all related to fracking has occurred. Fracking has been linked to small earthquakes. U.S. Geological Survey documents a dramatic increase in earthquakes in the Midwest coinciding with the start of the fracking boom. From 1970 to 2000, the region experienced about 20 quakes per year >= 3.0. Between 2001 and 2008, there were 29 such quakes per year, 50 in 2009, 87 in 2010 and 134 in 2011. Key Fracking Facts and Issues

5 Legislative Status AB 1301 (Bloom) and AB 1323 (Mitchell) Moratoriums Prohibits fracking until legislature has acted to remove the moratorium and determined whether and under what conditions hydraulic fracturing may be conducted while protecting the public health and safety and the natural resources of the state. (Natural Resources Committee 4/29/13) AB 982 - (Williams) - Groundwater Monitoring Requires groundwater monitoring before and after any hydraulic fracturing operations. Also requires public disclosure of all groundwater monitoring data and providing specific information on amount, source of water, and method of disposal of produced wastewater. (Natural Resources Committee 4/15/13) SB 4 - (Pavley) - Regulations on Fracking Provides a comprehensive framework for permitting & disclosure of fracking; requires an independent scientific study on fracking addressing occupational, public and environmental health and safety be conducted by January 1, 2015; requires DOGGR to adopt fracking regulations by January 1, 2015 that include full disclosure of the composition and disposition of hydraulic fracturing fluids with trade secret protection for chemical formulas extended to industry; would allow neighbors to have baseline and follow-up water quality testing on water wells and surface water by the regional water board. (PASSED Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee 4/9/13, referred to Senate Environmental Quality Committee TBD)

6 SB 395 (Jackson): Oil and gas wastewater classified as hazardous waste (Status: Senate Environmental Quality Committee 5/1/13) SB 395 (Jackson) SB 665 (Wolk): Bonding levels, increased to meet current costs associated with fixing problems in a well or well fields. (Status: Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee 4/23/13) SB 665 (Wolk) AB 7 (Wieckowski): Disclosure and trade secrets (Status: Assembly Natural Resources Committee 4/15) AB 7 (Wieckowski) AB 288 (Levine): Positive approval/time period; extends the length of notice to DOGGR from 10 to 30 days and requires DOGGR to actively approve the project and notify the appropriate regional water board (Status: Assembly Natural Resources Committee 4/15) AB 288 (Levine) AB 649 (Nazarian): Moratorium on fracking near aquifers (Status: Assembly Natural Resources Committee 4/29/13) AB 649 (Nazarian) AB 669 (Stone): Wastewater approval; Requires operators to submit proof that the appropriate regional water quality control board has approved the method and location of wastewater disposal for the well; report origin and total amount of freshwater, disposal of wastewater, and the well casing failures in each county (Status: Assembly Natural Resources Committee 4/15) AB 669 (Stone) Legislative Status

7 Regulatory Status DOGGR Issued draft regulations in December - Currently in public comment period. Some areas good, particularly: Requirements that operators provide written notice to DOGGR of their intent to hydraulically fracture a well. Requirements that operators must alert DOGGR of well casing failures. The intent of well construction requirements to limit fractures and fluid/gas movements to the intended geologic zone s. Inadequacies are significant. Comments were provided back on: Must close the Halliburton loophole, which exempts the injection of fracking fluids from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s underground injection control (“UIC”) program; An affirmative review/approval process requiring a finding of no harm to public health and safety, natural resources, and environmental quality prior to fracking.

8 Regulatory Status (cont) Inadequacies (cont): At least 60-day advanced prior notice to the public and actual written notice to nearby landowners and water users and providers. Disclosure and approval of sources and volumes of water used in fracking and disposition, volume, and composition of wastewater, including flowback and produced water associated with well stimulation operations. Groundwater testing performed prior to any well stimulation operations to establish baseline water quality and subsequent to all drilling and well stimulation. Air quality protections, including monitoring, containment, and limits on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), air toxics and greenhouse gas emissions. Green completions must be placed on all wells to prevent any flaring or venting of greenhouse gases. Limits on the use and injection of dangerous chemicals including a prohibition on the injection of diesel, BTEX, and other hydrocarbons. Expansion of definition of “protected water” to include waters of all beneficial uses consistent with the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Porter-Cologne Act.

9 Regulatory Status (cont) Inadequacies (cont): Advance public disclosure of chemicals which will be brought to a frack site to be injected, and reporting of chemicals actually used for the frack job. Monitoring to establish baseline ground movement and seismic activity and post fracturing seismicity in the surrounding area. Prohibition on fracking confidential/exploratory wells. Elimination of trade secret protections for the volumes and identities of chemicals injected into the ground. Public disclosure be posted on a state-run website, instead of a nationwide, industry-backed site such as FracFocus. Prohibition on fracking in or around sensitive areas including, but not limited to, the Pacific Ocean (offshore oil platforms), coastal estuaries, near residential areas, sensitive receptors (hospitals, schools, daycare facilities, elderly housing and convalescent facilities), sensitive ecosystems, wetlands, critical watersheds and groundwater recharge areas.

10 Will Fracking Save Us? Will natural gas and previously unrecoverable tight oil provide energy independence? (from “Drill, Baby, Drill. Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance? David J. Hughes, Feb., 2013 Post Carbon Institute) 80% of world energy consumption is fossil fuel based. Shale gas production is nearly 40 percent of U.S. natural gas production. Tight oil makes up 20% of oil production in the US. Shale gas production has been on a plateau since December 2011. Shale plays decline rapidly after first few months of production requiring continuous capital input to maintain production levels. Needed capital input estimated at $42 billion per year - to drill more than 7,000 well to maintain production. The value of shale gas produced in 2012 was just $32.5 billion. Tight oil requires more than 6,000 wells to maintain production at a cost of $35 billion annually. 1,542 wells needed annually, at a cost of $14 billion, in the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays alone to offset declines. Tight oil production from these plays will be a bubble of about ten years’ duration. The only true independence will come from renewables and reduced consumption.

11 The “Exploration Treadmill” Since 1990, the number of operating gas wells in the United States has increased by 90% while the average productivity per well has declined by 38 percent.

12 Figure 66. Future oil production profile for the Bakken play, assuming current rate of new well additions. This scenario assumes constant new well quality and EIA estimate of remaining available well locations. Production declines at the overall field rate of 40 percent after peak in 2017. New Wells Must Replace Old

13 Tight oil and shale gas plays require density of rapidly depleting wells and constant new investment to maintain production. Beware of rosy 100 year forecasts! Raping Mother Earth?

14 What Can We Do? Learn more: Attend “California Communities Rising Against Fracking”, April 20th, 5 pm, Joyce Beers Community Center. Follow Clean Water Action’s Legislative Tracking Page for status on bills: Contact your local state Assemby and Senate legislators and demand support for Bloom bill at a minimum (AB 1301); send Bloom a letter directly to thank him for his bill. Sample at: endrosement-Letter.pdf; call all members of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee by April 29, see here for list of names and contact numbers: endrosement-Letter.pdf Circulate the petition calling on the Governor to ban fracking (partnership of Food & Water Watch, CREDO, CBD, DFA and Enviro CA). Public education-Reach out to your allies and partners, e.g., faith based and labor groups Hold screenings of Gasland II - releasing on April 21 Write letters to the editor to counter false promises, distortions and present strong alternatives. Be aware and vote! Local levels are important, especially Water Boards, County Supervisors, Land Use roles on City Councils.

15 Thank You!

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