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MapLight offers look at proposed California drilling bills

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From MapLight, a non-profit group, on Proposed California drilling bills:


June 14, 2013 With the May 31 legislative deadline, California closed the books on several bills to regulate the drilling technique known as "hydraulic fracturing," or "fracking." Now, of a dozen fracking bills introduced this session, only two survive, three have been rejected, and the rest died without ever seeing a floor vote.

Some of these bills had proposed a temporary ban, or "moratorium," on fracking. The only moratorium bill to make it to vote, AB 1323, failed 24-37 on May 30. Originally, AB 1323 would have banned fracking until the completion of a study on its impact, but the bill's author, Senator Holly Mitchell, amended the bill to lift the ban as soon as the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) enacts a regulatory program. "DOGGR has the statutory responsibility to regulate fracking," the assembly floor analysis notes, "but to date has not done so."

SB 4 is among the surviving bills. If the bill passes through the House it would require testing of local groundwater before and after drilling and the creation of a state website that would compile data on fracking chemicals. While it currently calls for a moratorium in the event that a scientific study on the impact of fracking is not completed by 2015, its author, Senator Fran Pavely, has promised this stipulation will be removed in the Assembly. The other surviving bill, AB 665, increases the indemnity bonds for abandoned wells.

Data: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to members of the California State Assembly and Senate from interest groups in support of or opposition to bills related to hydraulic fracturing from January 1, 2011—December 31, 2012. Contributions data source: National Institute of Money in State Politics

  • Interest groups opposing AB 1323 have contributed 7.1 times as much money as groups supporting it.
  • Representatives voting "NO" on AB 1323 received, on average, 31 times as much money from opposing groups as from supporting groups.
  • Seventeen representatives "Not Voting" received 5 times as much money from opposing groups as from supporting groups. All non-voting representatives were Democrats. The bill failed 24-37.
  • Eight of the 12 bills* identified by MapLight as relevant to fracking were opposed by the Western States Petroleum Association, whose members include ExxonMobil, Valero, BP, and Chevron.
Organization (PAC) Campaign Contributions to California State Legislature
British Petroleum $28,450
Chevron $292,700
ExxonMobil $72,000
Valero Energy $71,300
Total: $464,450

* Bills in the 2012-2013 session related to hydraulic fracturing:

A link to this story can be found here.

About MapLight:
MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money’s influence on politics.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.