June 24, 2013


Will the Golden State Go Brown? : The fracking revolution might be coming to California. (Chris Reed, 12 June 2013, City Journal)

Why has expanded fracking gone from the longest of long shots to nearly a sure thing? Veteran Sacramento watchers say green scare tactics--especially the false claims that fracking is untested--failed for several reasons. For one thing, Governor Jerry Brown struck a straightforward tone on regulation, angering greens by presenting the expansion of fracking in the state as a given. For another, the Obama administration's support for fracking--made plain in a November 2011 report and reaffirmed last month by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell--undercut environmentalists' warnings. Finally, the USC study's projections that fracking could generate up to $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, along with 2.8 million jobs by 2020, grabbed the attention of union-aligned Democratic lawmakers eager to create well-paying blue-collar jobs.

Even devout environmentalists seem to be waking up to the windfall that could ensue if the brown-energy revolution arrives in the Golden State. Consider the recent behavior of state senator Noreen Evans, a Santa Rosa Democrat, Coastal Conservancy member, smart-growth advocate, and driving force in California environmentalism for decades. Last month, after her proposal to increase taxes on oil production died in a senate committee, Evans told reporters that she remained confident the bill would pass. "If we as a state are going to expand fracking operations, we ought to tax it," she said--sounding like a lawmaker who sees fracking as part of California's future.

...if fracking's inevitable, lie back and tax it.
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Posted by at June 24, 2013 5:18 AM

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