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Battle Lines Drawn in Legislature’s Focus on Fracking



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On the first day of California’s new legislative session lines were already being drawn in the next battle over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the lightly used but politically fraught oilfield technique more common in Kern than anywhere else in the state.

Lawmakers unsatisfied with the results of California’s attempt at regulating fracking in 2013 have declared they will answer Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call in September for a bill banning the practice statewide by 2024.

By Tuesday afternoon no such legislation had been introduced in Sacramento. But on Monday the Speaker of the Assembly cautiously weighed in on the subject, and state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger, introduced an “intent bill” to ensure any talk of banning fracking take into account the potential economic toll on the southern Central Valley.

“The oil debate in California often leaves out an important detail — oil workers make real money to provide for real families and that generates real economic activity that won’t be replaced by a slogan or a banner,” Hurtado said in a news release accompanying her introduction of Senate Bill 25.

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