Saturday, April 18, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

California could see an oil boom

walters column sig

By
From page A9 | February 17, 2013 |

SACRAMENTO — California had one of the globe’s earliest oil industries and was once more than self-sufficient in gasoline and other petroleum products, but as demand grew and production waned, we became an importer, mostly from Alaska and Southeast Asia.

New recovery techniques, such as steam injection and later hydraulic fracturing (fracking), kept older fields, particularly those in Kern County, in production. California is still the nation’s No. 3 petroleum producer.

Meanwhile, oil production is booming in other states, principally North Dakota and Texas, due to extensive use of fracking to tap into deposits in shale – so much so that the U.S. may soon become an exporter again.

But what about California? It’s been estimated that deep shale deposits in the state, particularly those along the Central Coast and in the Central Valley, contain as much as 400 billion barrels of oil, equivalent to half of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields.

Whether California experiences a new oil boom similar to one it saw in the early 20th century depends on whether the state’s extraordinarily sensitive environmental consciousness can tolerate more fracking, particularly along the coast.

That was the issue hanging over a daylong legislative hearing this week in which representatives from the industry, environmental groups, state agencies and local governments kicked around whether widespread fracking will be allowed and, if so, under what conditions.

As with many environmental issues, Gov. Jerry Brown finds himself somewhere in the middle.

Early in his administration, Brown got an earful of complaints that new state regulators were micromanaging oil recovery in Kern County and inhibiting production. He fired those regulators and eventually named a new team that promised more flexibility.

That raised the hackles of environmental groups, which oppose the expansion of fracking. When Brown’s chief appointee, Mark Nechodom, appeared recently before the Senate Rules Committee, he was grilled sharply about fracking – but was later confirmed by the Senate.

The state’s oil and gas agency, which has not been directly regulating fracking, has drafted new regulations. They figured prominently in Tuesday’s hearing.

Environmental groups and many Democratic legislators are openly skeptical that they would not prevent pollution or overuse of water supplies as mixtures of water and chemicals are injected deeply into underground strata to crack shale and release oil and gas trapped within.

So will California see a new oil boom?

Not immediately, but the potential is there to supercharge a somewhat stagnant economy, create many thousands of jobs and pump billions into state and local government coffers, especially if an extraction tax is part of the deal.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensFebruary 13, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    If South Carolina received the news that it had 500 Billion barrels of oil beneath their feet you would see people celebrating in the street and the church bells would ring. The State government would immediately move to allow oil companies to lease land and start producing oil for export. Revenue would pour into the tax coffers and treasury. Schools and public safety would be upgraded. The highways, roads and ports are already in good shape so the money could be used to fund delayed projects and start a tax cut and rebates to tax payers. The States junior colleges and vocational schools would immediately gear up programs to help oil companies with their skilled labor needs. But you won't see that happen in California, will you? Instead, oil companies will be villified and demonized. They will be told they and the wealth and jobs they create are not wanted in California. All the pointed heads in Davis and Sacramento will tell you how they know more then you do and you're not to complain about the meager socialist government crumbs of food stamps and welfare they offer you. There will be no oil boom in California. Instead there will be an oil boom in Texas and North Dakota.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Child care program helps teen parents, students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Wood students entertain guests at Epcot

By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A2

 
 
 
Solano County Science Fair continues to grow

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Take stock of where you are now, and act

By Murray Bass | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Saturday, April 18, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Family awarded rights to rare coins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Dog flu outbreak sweeps across the Midwest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
AG announces anti-bias training program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Iraqi officials believe Saddam’s top deputy killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Germany mourns citizens lost in plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Following Alps crash, debate over pilotless planes heats up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Time for meaningful financial reform

By Paul A. Volcker | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
 
.

Living

Today in history: Saturday, April 18, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My daughter is upset that I didn’t attend my former in-law’s funeral

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: April 18, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Armijo nears girls soccer title with 2-0 MEL win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SCAC girls roll past MEL 55-28 in All-Star hoops game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

SCAC boys slip past MEL in entertaining All-Star game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Athletics fall to Royals 6-4 in rematch of AL wild-card game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors, Pelicans enter series with different pedigrees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Prep softball: Seldon powers Rodriguez to victory over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

JC baseball: Falcons win as Pavlovsky, Evans homer

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep badminton: Mustangs roll to 15-0 win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep baseball: Haney hurls Vanden to 3-2 win over Benicia

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Rockhold hopes win over Machida launches him into contention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Martina Hingis to make singles comeback in Fed Cup match

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Injured Giants fan throws out first ball in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Flyers fire head coach Craig Berube after 2 seasons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hornets GM Cho: Stephenson ‘didn’t work like we expected’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brazil eyes historic medal haul in 2016 Rio Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Big Ten’s Delany lays out plan for freshman ineligibility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Collmenter shuts down Giants, gets three hits in D-backs win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Merritt’s 61 trumps Masters champion Spieth’s 62

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

2 minor league baseball teams to test game with 5-pitch rule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA could alter schedule, but no change to playoffs, lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coonan stepping down as Santa Clara’s athletic director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he “let down” fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers fullback Miller at home in Georgia after March arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Before ruling out an upset in NBA East, listen to these guys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Western Conference teams face perilous path to NBA Finals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for April 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Back on the USA Network: Sports return with NHL playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Frederick’s of Hollywood reveals closing of retail stores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Don’t plan to line up for Apple Watch next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 4 Comments

California home prices hit new 7-year high, sales rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Douglas Craig Sparks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7