State Seeks Public Input on Oil and Gas Well Stimulation

New Extraction Regulation Hearings Ongoing in Santa Maria

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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Anti-fracking activists are expected to show up in full force across California this week as the state division that oversees oil and gas production opened the public comment period for the latest version of the proposed fracking and acidizing regulations. The Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) will kick off the hearings on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Santa Maria Board of Supervisors building. Signed last year, Senate Bill 4 mandated that an independent study on well stimulation treatments be conducted and completed no later than January 2015. Based on the findings as well as public feedback, the new regulations will go into effect next July.

But activists say the new state law do not go far enough, and environmental groups have begun campaigns to ban fracking and acidizing in a handful of cities and counties, including Santa Barbara. SB 4 does not address cyclic steam injection, and the area grassroots group dubbed the Water Guardians have placed a countywide ban — Measure P — on acidizing, fracking, and cyclic steaming on the November ballot. The group will show up Tuesday to make their case and argue Santa Barbara should be a leader in environmental protection. Opponents contend the county has regulations that are stringent enough and that the county is one of the only in the state to have an energy division to oversee oil operations within its borders.

Debate between environmentalists and the oil industry over the exact implications of the ban has ensued since it first went before the County Board of Supervisors in May. County Counsel is expected to deliver an impartial analysis of the legal language of the ban by the end of the month.

During the next week, DOGGR staff will hold the same hearings in Long Beach, Sacramento, Bakersfield, and Salinas.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

More wind water and solar energy. Less coal oil and gas.

nitrogen (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 2:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Throughout the United States, an abundant source of emission-free power is being overlooked. This source is waste heat, a byproduct of industrial processes that could reinvigorate American manufacturing, create jobs, lower the cost of energy and reduce overall emissions from electric generation. If not captured and used to generate emission-free renewable-equivalent power, waste heat is released to the atmosphere through stacks, vents, flares and mechanical equipment.

Waste Heat to Power (WHP) works by capturing waste heat with a recovery unit and converting it to electricity through a process called heat exchange. This process produces no emissions because no fuel is burned. By using the waste heat to generate emission-free power, industrial users can route the power back to the facility or sell it to the grid to support clean energy production, distribution and use.

WHP systems use the same technologies deployed in a number of industries including the geothermal industry. The main technologies used by WHP developers are Steam Turbine Technology, Organic Rankine Cycle, Supercritical CO2, Kalina Cycle, Stirling Engine, and emerging technologies such as Thermoelectrics. Through the application of these technologies, industrial waste heat is no longer just a byproduct – it is a valuable resource for emission-free electricity.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 5:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you would like to know more about the methods, and effects, of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), including opinions from Cornell University's Professor of Engineering Tony Ingraffia (named "a pioneer in fracture mechanics"), Los Alamos Planning Committee Chair Chris Wrather and Santa Ynez water company president Bob Field, please take a look at this half-hour television interview:

William Smithers

bilwil (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How can we acquire more wind and solar when the special interests groups make it so difficult the energy saving companies leave SB Co. (Lompoc)before they can develop that energy saving system. The S E groups are shooting themselves in the foot. It matters not about what a professor from Cornell thinks when he doesn't live in the situation. I'm for sensible methods to improve our world, but it can't happen when the those groups won't even listen. Water issue: think about where Moniticeto gets their water. Partially from Lompoc aquifer. Get informed, become a part of the "real" world. Will there be complaints when we do get the much needed rain, like the 100 year storm which does come around. SB Co, now has cleaner air than it did 20 years ago according to the air quality control board. Look it up! Did you know that in a area in Orcutt area, in 1900, the owners walked (this is proven history) over their land and oil was seeping to the surface, long before any oil co. came here. Until the "enviros" let us improve on technique we are stuck with oil.

sensiblemolly (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2014 at 9:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Biggest use of energy is transportation - both land and sea. How will wind, water and solar meet transportation energy needs. Please provide the exact number of wind, water and solar units needed to replace these current fossil fuel energy demands. Only then can we seriously understand what our future commitments will be instead of bandying meaningless slogans..

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2014 at 9:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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