With the soon-to-adjourn state legislature looking to pass stringent rules for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the city of Los Angeles is now proposing to impose a ban on the practice. Meanwhile, an ongoing state administrative process is expected to result in new fracking rules this fall.

Adding to the discussions in Sacramento on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) threw her support behind the current statewide fracking proposal (SB 4), which now includes provisions directed at the related process of acidization, causing industry to reject the measure. Feinstein cited the state’s need to “protect natural resources” in the face of the huge estimates for long-term drilling potential in the state’s Monterey Shale.

A spokesperson for the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) said his members can’t support the current form of SB 4, although they were hoping to get behind a narrower fracking-only measure since a previous provision calling for a ban until new rules were in place was removed from the proposed legislation.

“The expansion of SB 4 to include other well stimulation processes and technologies is one of the reasons we remain opposed to SB 4,” WSPA spokesperson Tupper Hull told NGI‘sShale Daily on Thursday. “Sen. [Fran] Pavley [the bill’s author] committed to focus on hydraulic fracturing, and we believe the bill should do that.” He called the current bill, which is slated to be voted on soon by the full lower house Assembly, “a work in progress.”

In Los Angeles on Wednesday, two of the city council’s 15 members said with oil companies set to expand their activities in at least two urban drilling areas within the city (Baldwin Hills and Century City) the fracking process should be banned for environmental reasons. They intend to outlaw fracking and related practices like acidizing by changing the city’s zoning laws.

LA’s anti-fracking measure has now been referred the city council’s planning and land-use management committee. Public hearings are pending.

In the meantime, Gov. Jerry Brown is not taking a stand, although he has said some supportive things about the economic benefits of a renewed oil/natural gas bonanza in the state. His administration’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) is nearing the end of a year-long administrative process to carve out new rules governing fracking in the state.

Critics of the practice who are supporting SB 4 have said the state is currently in the dark in terms of where fracking is occurring today, although DOGGR officials in the past said the state’s stringent rules regarding drilling permits were adequate to cover fracking.

“DOGGR certainly knows where and when wells are being fracked,” WSPA’s Hull said. “All WSPA members and all California Independent Petroleum Association members report their fracking to [the online registry] FracFocus.”

While noting that there are no current state regulatory requirements for operators to report hydraulic fracturing, a DOGGR spokesperson said that will be part of the current regulations now being drafted by the agency, and those new rules will be relevant even if SB 4 passes. He said that DOGGR asks oil/gas operators to report fracking voluntarily, and currently the state agency knows there are 1,017 wells in California using fracking.

“Passage of SB 4 will not render our regulatory work moot,” he said, “although we might have to adjust our language depending on the final language of that bill.”