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Catherine Reheis-Boyd, who served as the chair of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, proclaims the "glories" of hydrofracking in her December 10 letter in the Sacramento Bee entitled "Hydraulic fracturing is safe for California."

Her letter responds to a Bee editorial on December 7, "Rules on oil and gas fracking are way out of wack."

"The editorial inaccurately implies that hydraulic fracturing projects have been approved in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), suggesting that environmental regulation has been inadequate," said Reheis-Boyd.

"Hydraulic fracturing has been employed in California for 60 years and there has never been evidence that it has caused harm to water supplies or the environment," she claimed. "As president of the Western States Petroleum Association, I can state that members remain committed to producing safe, reliable California energy supplies while continuing to protect the environment and public health."

Reheis-Boyd has apparently never watched Gasland, the Sundance winning documentary that reveals the environmental devastation caused by hydraulic fracturing (

When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country Fox calls "Gasland."

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called "fracking," is a controversial procedure used by drillers in California to extract deposits of oil and gas from depleted wells or from geologic formations where conventional drilling is ineffective, according to a news release from a coalition of environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Earthworks, Environmental Working Group and Sierra Club California.

These organizations went to court on October 16 to force the agency responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry to abide by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state’s foremost law that protects public health and the environment. (

"Hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of water are mixed with toxic chemicals and injected down each well at high pressure, fracturing the underground rock formation to force the oil or gas to flow to the surface," the groups stated. "The Western States Petroleum Association estimates that more than 600 California wells were fracked in 2011 alone; fracking has been used in California for more than 50 years. Fracking is also associated with large releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas."

Reheis-Boyd has been a relentless lobbyist for offshore oil drilling, the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the expansion of hydro fracking and the evisceration of environmental laws in her role as president of the Western States Petroleum Association.

As MPLA Blue Ribbon Task Force Chair, she oversaw the creation of alleged "marine protected areas" on the South Coast that fail to protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, pollution, military testing, wind and wave energy projects and all other human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

After kicking fishermen off vast areas of Southern California waters starting on January 1, 2012, this strange type of "marine guardian" has been in the corporate media regularly extolling the "virtues" of plundering public trust resources to benefit the big oil companies.

It is beyond shameful that state officials and MLPA Initiative advocates embraced her questionable role in creating alleged "marine reserves" on not only the South Coast, but on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

On June 6, Natural Resources Secretary John Laird celebrated the California Fish and Game Commission’s adoption of regulations for so-called "marine protected areas" on the North Coast created under Schwarzenegger’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.

“This is a great day for California’s ocean and coastal resources,” gushed Laird. “As promised, we have completed the nation’s first statewide open coast system of marine protected areas, strengthening California’s ongoing commitment to conserve marine life for future generations.”

Laird, like Reheis-Boyd, is a curious type of “environmental protector." He presided over a massive fish kill in the Delta pumps in 2011, spurred by record water exports to corporate agribusiness and southern California, and is a steadfast promoter of the peripheral canal or tunnel, a project that will hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and a myriad of other species.

To read Reheis-Boyd's full letter, go to:

For more information about Reheis-Boyd's role in corporate greenwashing, go to:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hasn't steam fracking been used in CA (0+ / 0-)

    for quite awhile - particularly in the Lost Hills oil field?

    "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

    by Shane Hensinger on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:46:22 PM PST

  •  Is there any kind of map showing where the (0+ / 0-)

    fracking wells are in CA?

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:25:49 PM PST

    •  sort of (6+ / 0-)

      here is a map showing where the oil/natgas is 20121007monterey_thumb

      However, the Cal Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Regs (DOGGR) has lost track of which wells are being fracked.

      For example, we know for sure that 1 well within Ventura County has been fracked, but we are pretty sure that all 600 have been.

      Reminder, for those who missed my post yest.: if you're interested in taking action re Cal fracking, Kosmail me - I'm forming a group to discuss and act.

      Congress can't redo the laws of physics. Do the math. @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:52:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you saw I mentioned that Santa Maria wells have (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, marina, RLMiller

        been fracked for a long time?.... unknown to county officials oddly as they have been violating the company I can't remember the name of with court orders and prosecutions with Grand Juries and suits for decades.

        The SB Independent had articles on it as well as the SB News Press.

        Another local company field are some by Venoco who would not surprise me in the least if they admitted fracked their ancient low output wells.  They just had one closed off in the 30's they inherited, they or some previous owner had to spend $1million to clean it up and plug it properly...within a few yards of the beach cliff edge if I read the article right

        The bigger problem with fracking is the nonsense about the contents of the seekrit chemicals they put in if the gas and oil industry has any current secrets about this that matter.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 01:24:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for posting that! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Yes, folks, please contact RL Miller about upcoming actions about this, since she has been regularly posting action alerts about hydrofracking on Daily Kos and other blogs and websites.

  •  Do we need to let the Governor know? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, marina, Oh Mary Oh, S F Hippie, ybruti

    Very much appreciate this diary, Dan.  I am about to write a letter to the editor of the Sacramento Bee in response to her letter, unless you already took care of it.  Maybe I'll write one anyway.  

    Please give some idea of what people should do when you catch something like this.  I don't think many of us need to know that fracking is bad in any state (though many of us may need to know how prevalent it is in California), but just who to get upset with the most and what to advocate for specifically would be very helpful.

    Your link to the Center for Biological Diversity was especially helpful.  I have recently redirected my environmental donations to this group from NRDC, as they are so successful with so much less money.

    Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. George Orwell

    by 6079SmithW on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:57:01 PM PST

  •  Another frack hack (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, S F Hippie

    We've got to stop this rush to extract everything, everywhere, at the cost of all that makes life possible. It is a War on Nature.

    Government agencies are not doing their duty, even according to their own declared missions.

    Check this out: Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Industry Pollute the Nation’s Underground Water Supply

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