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Politics

State Lawmakers Eye Fracking Regulations With Handful Of Bills

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Protestors hold signs against fracking during a demonstration outside of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters on July 25, 2012 in Sacramento.

Protestors hold signs against fracking during a demonstration outside of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters on July 25, 2012 in Sacramento. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A controversial drilling practice that has lead to an oil boom in several parts of the country has become a hot topic in Sacramento. State lawmakers have introduced at least eight bills that would regulate the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

Fracking has been going on in California for decades, but it’s never been so popular before. It involves using a high-pressure blast of water and chemicals to release oil from deep-rock formations.

Oil companies have said it’s safe, but environmentalists worry about its impacts.

“Time and time again, the industry and the Department of Conservation have both publically stated that hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ is safe and that there’s no evidence of danger or problem,” said San Rafael Assemblyman Marc Levine, among the lawmakers who want to regulate the process.

Levine said he wants the industry to prove the health and safety of fracking and for the Department of Conservation to verify the oil industry’s assertions before approving any projects that involve fracking.

However, the oil industry wants lawmakers to wait until the state Department of Conservation finishes its process of adopting new rules for fracking.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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