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California Proposes First-Ever Fracking Regulations

Dec 19, 2012
(Los Angeles Times)

Under pressure from state lawmakers and environmentalists, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration released draft regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the controversial drilling process driving the nation's oil and gas boom.

The proposed rules, released Tuesday, would require energy companies to disclose for the first time the chemicals they inject deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil. They also would have to reveal the location of the wells where they use the procedure.

Though fracking has unlocked vast amounts of previously unreachable fossil fuels elsewhere, environmentalists and public health advocates in California have raised safety questions about the hundreds of chemicals used — many of them known carcinogens — and the potential for drinking water contamination.