20 september 2013

Brown signs bill on fracking, upsetting both sides of oil issue

Oil industry says the rules go further than needed for safe drilling. Environmentalists contend there aren't enough protections.

By Marc Lifsher and Patrick McGreevyThe Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2013

SACRAMENTO — The nation's toughest restrictions on a controversial oil drilling technique known as fracking were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.

Hotly opposed by the oil industry, the measure "establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements," the governor said in a statement.

Brown also signed measures giving law enforcement officers clear authority to take blood samples from resistant suspected drunk drivers; making it easier for police to recover stolen goods; and setting rules for California's health insurance exchange.

At issue in the hydraulic fracturing measure is the injection of sand, water and chemicals to free oil and natural gas trapped in shale deep underground. The oil industry heralds the technique as a way to boost domestic oil and gas production; opponents contend it is unsafe and endangers underground drinking-water supplies.

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