California Governor Brown says fracing study may take 18 months


California Governor Brown says fracing study may take 18 months


SAN FRANCISCO (Bloomberg) -- Governor Jerry Brown said it may take as long as 18 months for California, to complete an environmental review of hydraulic fracturing.

Technological advancements have ignited a boom in the development of fields that were once deemed uneconomical, particularly in shale formations. California lawmakers approved regulations for state oversight of fracing in September.

The state’s Monterey Shale field may hold 15.4 Bbbls; two-thirds of the nation’s shale-oil reserves, according to United States estimates. Environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute say fracking poses unacceptable risks of air and water pollution.

“I think we ought to give science a chance before deciding on a ban on fracking,” Brown, a 75-year-old Democrat, told reporters following a conference in San Francisco. California’s study will become “the most comprehensive environmental analysis of fracing to date,” he said.

While groups have raised concerns about pollution from fracking, Brown said the drilling boom has also helped cut United States emissions as companies switch from burning coal to cheaper and less-carbon-intensive gas.

“So this is a very complicated equation,” he said. “You can be sure that California is doing everything it can to reduce greenhouse gases and support a sustainable economy.”

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