On May 30, California’s Department of Conservation will conduct the second in a series of seven public workshops to discuss hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The workshop will be held at the Ventura County Board of Supervisors chambers, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, and is scheduled to run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The Ventura workshop is expected to provide additional detail on the Department’s plans to develop regulations on fracking, and likely will follow the same general format as the May 16 workshop conducted in Bakersfield. Leading the discussion at the Bakersfield workshop was Jason Marshall, Chief Deputy Director of the Department, supported by Director Mark Nechodom and State Oil and Gas Supervisor Tim Kustic, as well as Ed Wilson, Assistant Director, Communications. Mr. Marshall briefly addressed the audience gathered at the Kern County Board of Supervisors’ chambers, relying on a series of slides distributed at the workshop (pdf) to aid his presentation on the mechanics of fracking and the Department’s rulemaking process. At the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Marshall opened the meeting to public comments.
The tone of the public comments at the Bakersfield workshop, perhaps not surprisingly given the venue, was generally favorable toward fracking. Among those speaking at the meeting were representatives of various industry-affiliated groups, including the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA), the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), and the Independent Oil Producers’ Agency. Providing another perspective was a member of the Sierra Club. Their comments are summarized below in the news coverage from the workshop, including a video excerpt from KGET TV.
The Ventura workshop may prove to be less industry-friendly than the first workshop. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has called on its membership to join in a demand for a fracking moratorium and is encouraging its members to attend the workshop, supported by Occupy Ventura.
Media Coverage of Bakersfield workshop:
Bakersfield Californian: “Fracking meeting ends early for lack of comments“
KGET TV Video: