The following are links to some news articles and websites that we have found. The list is by no means exhaustive, and is meant only as an introduction to this issue. (In fact, there is so much in the news recently about fracking that we stopped even trying to keep up with non-local news here). We encourage you to fully educate yourself about these issues by searching out additional sources of information (and if we are missing something important here, please share it with us).
Explaination of fracking, by Duke University Geochemist Robert Jackson
The Facts Behind The Frack (Science News, September 8, 2012)
Aquafornia.com - a website about California water issues. Search "fracking" on the site for links to recent articles about fracking and water issues, including the September/October 2012 issue of Western Water, which is all about this issue.
FrackTrack (maps, activity alerts, job creation info., etc. about the Marcellus Shale)
FracTracker.org (From their website description, this is "a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the public’s understanding of the impacts of the global oil and gas industry by collecting, interpreting, and sharing data and visualizations")
Hydraulic Fracturing Resource Page (FBM Law Firm)
The July 16, 2012, blog posting discusses groundwater impacts - very informative
Drilling Down Fracking Regulations (KAZU radio report, May 2, 2013). Coverage of the April 30, 2013 DOGGR Monterey public workshop on proposed new California fracking regulations. Features interview with A.C.E.'s own Pat Lerman.
Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing in California: A Wastewater and Water Quality Perspective (UC Berkeley School of Law, April, 2013)
Federal ruling on failure of government to properly address environmental risks in auctioning off BLM land in California in 2011 (a summary of the ruling can be found here, in the Center for Biological Diversity's press release)
10 Reasons why fracking for dirty oil in California is a stupid idea (Grist.org, March 18, 2013)
California Senate Joint Natural Resources and Environmental Quality Committee Hearing on Hydraulic Fracturing (February 12, 2013) (video transcript)
Vast Oil Reserve May Now be Within Reach, and Battle Heats Up (New York Times, February 3, 2013). Info about the Monterey Shale and the response by environmental groups to the lack of oversight of fracking in California. National coverage!
Feds auction prime Calif land for oil development (San Francisco Chronicle, December 13, 2012)
Drilling Down: Australian oil company expands drilling in Monterey County; interest in fracking slows (Monterey County Weekly, October 11, 2012). Article about new drilling activity north of San Ardo, in Monterey County. The oil company - Neon Energy - says that because of local attitudes, they will not be using fracking in these wells; in Kern County, the same company is considering fracking. Instead of fracking, Neon will be using steam extraction, a different type of enhanced oil recovery that, like fracking, is also potentially far more environmentally damaging than is traditional oil extraction. It may be worth noting that other oil companies have stated that the Monterey formation, at least in this region, is not well suited for fracking anyway, but better suited for other types of enhanced oil extraction (for example, see this).
California sued over environmental toll of fracking (San Francisco Chronicle, October 17, 2012). The lawsuit, filed on behalf of five environmental groups, "accuses California regulators of turning a blind eye to the dangers of fracking, in defiance of the state's tough environmental laws. The suit.....would force the state office that oversees oil drilling (DOGGR) to study the possible effects on groundwater and air quality before letting companies use hydraulic fracturing."
Environmental group intends to sue over Monterey County 'Fracking' (The Californian, August 29, 2012)
A Review of the DOGGR Oil and Gas Issues Road Map (California Assembly Natural Resources Committee Meeting, August 14, 2012)
(fairly long video - go to 1:49 to hear Bill Monning bring up the Aromas situation)
BLM Plans More South County Oil and Gas Leases (Monterey County Weekly, July 27, 2012)
Fracking in Aromas? (KUSP 88.9 The Land Use Report, July 19, 2012)
California growers join greens to query frack safety (Reuters, June 29, 2012)
Frack Attack (KUSP 88.9 The Land Use Report, June 27, 2012)Brown administration to create regulations for hydraulic fracturing (Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2012)
State officials ask energy firms to disclose 'fracking' sites (Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2012)
Oil extraction method widely used in California with little oversight (Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2012)
Oil and Water Don't Mix with California Agriculture (High Country News, December 2010)
Monterey Shale - California's Sleeping Giant? (Exploration & Production Magazine, June 1, 2011)Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction (June 2012)
Information about the Monterey Shale, including a general map, from the oil industry: http://oilshalegas.com/montereyshale.html
Mexico City's Mile-Deep Aquifer Tapping Suggests U.S. Is Polluting Water It May Someday Need Oil industry representatives frequently say that oil drilling poses little risk of aquifer contamination because drilling occurs far deeper in the earth than most aquifers are situated, and that any deep aquifers are not economically feasible to access. This article points to a future in which that may not be the case, and suggests that we may want to protect even these deep aquifers from pollution.
Oil and Gas: Information on Shale Resources, Development, and Environmental and Public Health Risks (GAO 12-732: US Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Requestors, September 2012). The whole report is very long; here's a summary, by EcoWatch. The take-home message is that (a) (included as background) shale resources require "stimulation" (i.e. fracking or other enhanced recovery methods, and horizontal drilling) for extraction, and (b) there are environmental and public health risks associated with shale oil and gas development, but the extent and severity of these risks remain unknown. The report includes a very brief list of common chemicals used in fracking operations, and what their function is; details about the size and location of the shale resources in the US; discussion of water use; and other details.
Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil and Gas Regulatory Enforcement (Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project, September 2012). A summary of this very long, detailed report can be found here. In part, this summary says, "....state-level regulatory agencies and officials often aren't doing the jobs taxpayers currently pay them to do and aren't enforcing regulations on active oil and gas wells even when required to under the law. This is both out of neglect and also because they're vastly understaffed and underfunded, meaning they literally don't have the time and/or resources to do proper inspections. And on those rare instances when regulatory agencies and the regulators that work for them do enforce regulations on active oil and gas wells, Earthworks demonstrated that the penalties for breaking the rules are currently so weak that it's merely been deemed a tiny "cost of doing business" by the oil and gas industry."
Pittsburgh Ban on Natural Gas Fracking Faces Challenge from State Authorities (Democracy Now, September 14, 2012). Interview summary: "In 2010, Pittsburgh adopted a first-in-the-nation ordinance banning corporations from extracting natural gas within the city using the controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," over human health and environmental concerns. However, state officials now say the ban on fracking fails to comply with Pennsylvania law and has encroached on the state’s authority to create environmental regulations."
For Farms in the West, Oil Wells Are Thirsty Rivals (The New York Times, September 5, 2012)
U.S. Carbon Emissions: 2012 Levels At 20 Year Low (Huffington Post, August 16, 2012). The article attributes reduction in carbon emissions to decreased use of coal and subsequent increased use of natural gas, much of which has been obtained through fracking.
Near Injection Wells, Many Quakes Go Unfelt (New York Times, August 7, 2012)
Fracking poses risk to water systems, research suggests: US study (Calgary Herald, August 7, 2012)
The Secrets Frackers Are Allowed to Keep (The Atlantic Cities, August 1, 2012)
Fracking's Footprint: Scientists Study Impact of Shale Gas Development on Pennsylvania's Forests (CSA (Crops, Soils, Agronomy) News, July 2012). This article discusses environmental impacts of the infrastructure associated with fracking - issues such as forest fragmentation and resulting decline in key species; impacts on water infiltration and runoff; etc. - and how to decrease those. It also includes a side story about fracking wastewater disposal causing forest dieoff.
Natural Gas Fracking Industry May Be Paying Off Scientists (Wired, July 30, 2012)
5000 People Unite in DC to Protest Fracking (Huffington Post, July 30, 2012)
Court Backs Towns in Gas-Law Fight (Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2012)
Contaminated Inquiry: How a University of Texas Fracking Study Led by a Gas Industry Insider Spun the Facts and Misled the Public (Public Accountability Initiative, July 23, 2012) (a pdf of the full report is here. It exposes some fairly shocking biases.)
Billionaire Father Of Fracking Says Government Must Step Up Regulation (Forbes, July 19, 2012)
Ohio Earthquakes: Official Say Tremors Were 'Almost Certainly' Caused By Wastewater Injection (Huffington Post, March 9, 2012)
Ohio Earthquake Likely Caused by Fracking Wastewater (Scientific American, January 4, 2012)
U.S. Government Confirms Link between Earthquakes and Fracking (WorldPress, November 18, 2011)
Safety First, Fracking Second: Drilling for natural gas has gotten ahead of the science needed to prove it safe (Scientific American, October 19, 2011)
Public health and gas development: Where oil and gas development goes, health problems often follow (Summary of "Gas Patch Roulette", by the Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project, detailing the "extent, types, and possible causes of health symptoms experienced by people living in the gas patches of Pennsylvania."
Destroying Precious Land to Drill for Gas (New York Times Op-Ed by Sean Lennon, August 27, 2012) (okay, I admit, I just included this link because the piece is by Sean Lennon...)
What is fracking and why should it be banned? (Food & Water Watch)
Fracking Action Center (Food and Water Watch)
What the Frack!?! Oil and gas marauders are destroying our land, water, and communities all over America (Hightower Lowdown, vol 14(7), July 2012)
The Sky is Pink (a short film by the director of Gasland)
Note: for locals, there are copies of the movie Gasland available for free overnight rental from the Firehouse Market. Thanks to Nimesh Vakharia for this!
Citadel Exploration: How to Play Oil Field Redevelopment (Investment Underground, 2012). Industry perspective on the potential for redeveloping, using enhanced recovery methods, the oil fields already in existence in San Benito County
FrackFocus (an industry-run fracking chemical registry and information site)
AP to Josh Fox: Actually, You're Wrong (EnergyInDepth, July 25, 2012)
Debunking GasLand (EnergyInDepth, June 8, 2010)
'Stealth seismic' leaves no footprint: Technology Solves California Challenge (From Nodal Seismic website)
(Another version of this article appears here) (AAPG Explorer, April 2012)