Thursday, August 28, 2014
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 dwalters@sacbee.com.

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

 
Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Small-town heroism on display in Napa

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5, 2 Comments | Gallery

Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
.

Opinion

Seizing the day with old friends

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My boss insists that we all eat lunch with her in cafeteria

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Judge lets ‘X-Men’ director’s accuser drop lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Rapper Young Jeezy pleads not guilty to gun charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

‘Cops’ crew member killed in Omaha police shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Chris Soules is ABC’s new ‘Bachelor’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

John Lennon’s killer sorry for being ‘an idiot’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Reality star accused of rape, child molestation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9