Governor Shows Mixed Feelings on Fracking

As state regulators  and stakeholders ponder proposed regulations for oil and gas fracking, Governor Brown is offering a qualified endorsement of the controversial drilling technique.

At a San Francisco event on Wednesday highlighting the state's renewable energy gains, Brown acknowleged the potential of expanded fracking in California.

"The fossil fuel deposits in California are incredible," said Brown. "The potential is extraordinary, but between now and development lies a lot of questions that need to be answered."

Those questions--including the likely effects on air and water quality--are being raised at a series of public meetings officials are holding, including one scheduled for Sacramento on March 21. Hydraulic fracturing has been practiced for years in the California oil patch but excitement over the potentially lucrative Monterey shale formation has created the possibility of a new fracking boom in central California. Meanwhile the state's first-ever specific regulations for fracking are under discussion.

Brown made the remarks as he and outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced federal approval of two new solar farms in Southern California, which will generate a combined 900 megawatts of energy.


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