Steam Versus Fracturing

I feel compelled to correct an error in last week’s Angry Poodle Barbecue that could confuse voters trying to understand our county’s Healthy Air and Water Initiative to Ban Fracking. “Another Day, Another Dog” states that “fracking involves the injection of hot steam (500 degrees) coupled with an alphabet soup of nasty chemicals … ” Actually, hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” involves the high pressure injection of water, sand, and toxic chemicals into the bore hole, not steam and nasty chemicals. Cyclic steam injection involves the injection of hot steam, without chemicals.

The column also states that fracking will not ever be used in Santa Barbara County; in fact, fracking has been used repeatedly on the offshore platforms in federal waters in the S.B. Channel. One might assume the geology on this side of the high tide line is not so different from a few miles offshore, and fracking could very well be used onshore in the county in the future, if it is not banned.

Protecting the quantity and quality of our water resources is one of the many good reasons I support the initiative. I urge voters to investigate this critical proposal and the effects that enhanced oil extraction will have on the quality of our environment.

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