Ojai Chatauqua on fracking: know your CA geology

Part of what the Ojai Chautauqua tries to do every couple of months is bring out information regarding complex topics, which is what I tried to do in part as a moderator this past Sunday for a panel on fracking.

What did we learn? Well, here's one item, from Kimberly Rivers story in the Ojai Valley News this yesterday.

In contrast to Anne Kallas' story in the Ventura County Star, mentioned last time, this time Rivers doesn't find a consensus in the panel around a need for transparency.

She focuses more on the geology, and on the increased volume of wastewater. 

A couple of excerpts. One, we get a close-up look at the geology from a UCSB geophysicist named Craig Nicholson, who was the first guy I wanted on the panel, a real honest-to-God scientist:

Nicholson pointed out that because of California's many faults, the rocks are already fractured quite a bit — actually reducing the need to use processes like fracking, which break the rock to get the oil out. 

"Because of the natural fractures that already occur in California, fracking has never been a major component of producing oil and gas in California," Nicholson said. 

[Nicholson said] fracking has increased in the last ten to fifteen years. 

"California geology is way more complicated than other parts of the country where fracking is used. California always has more problems."

[I'm standing: Craig is seated four chairs away from me, second to the far left]


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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