Several members of the Western States Petroleum Association have agreed to share information about their fracking operations in response to the California Department of Conservation’s request for operators to report to a disclosure registry, FracFrocus (see May 8, 2012 post). Many, including Occidental Petroleum Corp. and XTO Energy/ExxonMobil, have already posted to the website, which currently provides information for more than 100 wells that have been fracked in California since the beginning of 2011. The information includes the supplier and the ingredients of the fracking fluid and the volume of water used.
This announcement coincides with Tuesday’s call from a national consumer advocacy group, Food & Water Watch, for a statewide ban on fracking. Food & Water Watch asserts that fracking poses risks to water, air and land that cannot be adequately addressed by regulation.
California currently has no regulations specific to fracking. There are two bills relating to fracking currently pending in the California legislature – one that would require disclosure the kind of information available on FracFocus (see May 8, 2012 post) and another that would require notification of planned fracking operations to neighbors (see April 19, 2012 post). The Department of Conservation also has announced plans to commission an independent study to examine the effects of fracking in California that may inform future regulation.