Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, CA wrote an article published in several papers in the state in which he urged rapid development of California’s gas and oil resources through “fracking” the technology that is leading the new boom in the US petroleum industry. He does not want California to lose out on this dramatic stimulus for a revived economy.
What would one expect from a Congressman coming from a major oil town in California? But McCarthy is right, California could benefit greatly from new petroleum production via “fracking. It is estimated that California has the second largest potential for fracking after Texas. And the money to be earned is so ample, by itself production via fracking could revive the nation’s largest state economy.
But as one would expect California’s well known environmental crowd has been quick to jump on McCarthy for promoting increased dependence on fossil fuels. Beside the higher dependence charge the “green crowd” warns about the dangers of fracking for the environment.
As I have written before, fracking has been in use for over 60 years with no significant problems for the environment. There is little danger that increasing its use will have any greater effect.
No, fracking is as safe as any other mineral extraction and perhaps less so than most and any delay or hesitation by California to use this technique to get at more of its petroleum reserves will mean it will probably lose out to the states that are going full tilt in this direction, North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania. But then California environmental zealots have never been ones to measure concerns about economic reality against their environmental crusades. And California has a much higher unemployment rate than does the rest of the USA.