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California Governor Reiterates Fracking Support

In an online interview prior to joining the climate change talks in Paris, California Gov. Jerry Brown reiterated his support for the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by the oil and natural gas industry.

Brown criticized the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, calling the action a "disgrace and dangerous." The interview was published Wednesday by the online publication Politico.

Brown also pushed back against anti-fracking activists, including actor Mark Ruffalo, adding that he doesn’t want to "let third-world countries do the oil production so that Californians can drive around, even in their hybrids. We have to shoulder our part of the responsibility."

Reducing society's carbon footprint is not a "matter of snapping your fingers, and to just instantly kill an industry, with the trivial impact on climate change, does not seem to me the wise way to go."

Brown has resisted pressure from anti-fracking groups in California, which draw support from  Hollywood celebrities, who have urged him to follow New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban high-volume fracking (see Shale DailyFeb. 27).

As an outgrowth of SB 4 to establish rules for well stimulation techniques, an independent study completed by the California Council on Science and Technology found that fracking in California is different from the practice in other states, so a moratorium would make no difference (see Shale DailyJan. 15).

In the midst of a serious four-year drought, Brown also has repeatedly cited the state study and other sources that say fracking in California uses only a relatively small portion of the state's water supplies.

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