On August 8, 2013, the Washington Post published an article regarding a recent petition sent by California state legislators to two federal agencies asking for an investigation of hydraulic fracturing taking place in the Pacific Ocean. Several California lawmakers sent the petition to both the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking both agencies to investigate ocean fracking occurring off the California coast. Expressing great concern over the extent of hydraulic fracturing occurring in the ocean, these lawmakers are urging the federal government to exercise greater oversight regarding this process.
Offshore hydraulic fracturing is a process consisting of pumping sand, large amounts of salt water and a combination of chemicals beneath the ocean seabed. While land fracking has received a great amount of attention and criticism, offshore fracking is a process that is not as regularly used. Therefore, it has not been studied as well as land fracking.
While the oil industry claims that fracking does not cause environmental harm, California state lawmakers are wary of the practice. By insisting on greater scrutiny over the offshore fracking process from federal agencies, California lawmakers hope to ensure greater regulation of the practice to minimize the environmental harm posed to the ocean and wildlife alike.
See the article from the Washington Post at: