California Rep. Marc Levine told Reuters last week that he will co-author an upcoming bill that would place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the state, and said he will use the drought, which could be the state’s worst ever, to bolster his position.
“The drought is a game changer on fracking,” Levine said. “We have to decide what our most precious commodity is—water or oil? This is the year to make the case that it’s water.”
“Fracking uses water we just can’t spare,” said Dan Jacobson, legislative director for environmental lobby group Environment California.
Fracking has created an energy boom in the U.S. and has the potential to drastically increase oil production in California Monterey Shale deposit, which federal officials have estimated holds up to 15 billion gallons of oil, more than most estimates for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and twice the reserves of North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil deposit.
Of course, there’s this inconvenient truth:
State figures suggest the whole industry used about as much as 300 households in 2013—about 300 acre-feet or nearly 1 million gallons, according to the Department of Conservation.
Kinda makes you wonder whether this is really about water, doesn’t it?