The governor of the socialist republic of California, Jerry Brown seems to be a convert of the benefits of fracking:
The USC authors cite “the possibility that greater-than-expected in-state energy production not only could support a return to stronger economic growth within the state, but actually accelerate the state’s economic turnaround, perhaps profoundly so.”
Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects have harrumphed loudly about the perils of fracking. “If and when the oil companies figure out how to exploit that shale oil, California could be transformed almost overnight,” Kassie Siegel, a lawyer at the Center for Biological Diversity, told the New York Times in February. “Fracking poisons the air we breathe and the water we drink. It is one of the most, if not the most, important environmental issue in California.”
But to his credit, Governor Brown — affectionately known here as Moonbeam for his liberal, hippie tendencies — has taken some small steps in the right direction. “The fossil fuel deposits in California are incredible, the potential is extraordinary,” Brownstated last month, also noting that “between now and development lies a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I feel confident that the people are in place in my administration to handle the issues as they come up.” Brown also reaffirmed his commitment, such as it is, to the state’s oil economy, declaring that “our permits are dramatically up … California is the fourth-largest oil producing state and we want to continue that.” It may be some time before fracking becomes a reality, but Brown is plainly both feeling the pressure and sensing the promise.
So for all the talk of a new, high-tech, white-collar economy bringing California back from the brink, it may turn out that one of the oldest and dirtiest industries around will save the future of the Golden State.