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Senate Committee Moves Ahead With Fracking Moratorium Bill

Apr 8, 2014

A California senate committee has moved a bill forward that would place a moratorium on fracking. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the move comes less than a year after the passage of legislation that regulates the oil-extraction process.

Senate Bill 4 put several fracking regulations in place for the oil industry. SB4 also requires a study analyzing the health and safety risks of fracking. At the committee hearing, oil industry representatives called the regulations some of the strictest in the nation.

But Democratic Senator Holly Mitchell says a moratorium is still needed. She says the legislation she’s authored isn’t designed to undo SB-4 regulations.

Mitchell: “If it is determined as a result of the work of SB-4, that these practices aren’t safe, then what? My point simply is not an indefinite moratorium, but to halt the practice until the work is done for us to be able to answer the question unequivocally.”

While the bill passed through committee, several lawmakers withheld their votes because they say the new regulations should be given more time to work.