Minutes from July 23, 2013 -WSPA Fracking

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Open Board of Directors Meeting

  San Bernardino Community College District

 114 S. Del Rosa Drive

San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:  Dimitrios Alexiou, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Erin Brinker, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Bill Easley, Ray Gonzales, Scott Hofferber, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Ed Lasak, John Mirau, Tom Nightingale, Steve PonTell, Bev Powell, John Prentice, Susan Rice, Frank Schnetz, Kristine Scott, Patty Senecal, Phillip Southard, Robert Visconti, Phil Waller and A.J. Wilson.

Guests:   Joe Gonzalez, Pam Langford and Lisha Smith 

Announcements: 1) IEEP & SANBAG are among those hosting a Clean Air Summit on October 3rd & 4th 2013 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  For sponsorship opportunities, registration or for more information please use the link provided www.socalenergysummit.org

Bev Powell introduced Patty Senecal, Manager, Southern California Region & Infrastructure Issues, Western States Petroleum (WSPA). 

WSPA is a non-profit trade association that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the six western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon Hawaii and Washington.  WSPA works to provide accurate information on industry issues and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on matters relating to petroleum. 

Hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking is a technique where a mixture of water, sand and chemicals are injected at high pressure into  an existing well to create small fractures along which fluids such as gas and petroleum migrate and can be removed.  Typically the fluids used are 99.5% water and sand.  The remaining .5% of fluids are chemicals and materials, many found in common household products designed to reduce friction, inhibit scaling, control iron and corrosion and reduce the growth of bacteria.  This process is only conducted once in the life of a well and greatly enhances fluid removal and well productivity.

Petroleum will continue to be a needed fuel in the future and is an economic driver in California.  Currently California’s 13 refineries produce 2 million gallons of gasoline/diesel every hour of every day and provide work for 332,968 either directly or indirectly.  Recent studies have shown that by the year 2035-2040 fuel demands will increase 14% and petroleum will account for 77.5% of our fuel needs.  The future of alternative fuels is, and will remain for some time, an expensive option.  

Fracking is most successful in shale deposits and California has 2/3rds of the shale resources in the U.S.   Technology has improved over the years and fracking is more advanced and efficient than ever.  An oil rich shale formation that runs lengthwise underground in Central California called Monterey Shale, has been widely cited as a potential gold mine of oil resources for the state.  Fracking has been conducted in California for over the last 60 years and has not caused harm to the environment.  In the last two years however, it has come under heavy attack from the press & environmentalists. Complaints against fracking include competition for water, toxic leakage, groundwater contamination, water & air pollution and earthquakes. 

The California Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) provides oversight on both oil and gas drilling and all production activities.  Nationally respected, FracFocus works with organizations working with state governments and the oil & gas industry to provide public transparency.  They keep a current data bases with the locations of all gas and oil wells in addition to detailed more information that are available on the FracFocus website. 

WSPA supports the comprehensive balanced regulation of fracking with the following suggestions:

  • ·         Legislature needs to take measured and responsible approach to hydraulic fracturing
  • ·         All parties have a responsibility to acknowledge that:
    • o   There are legitimate issues related to hydraulic fracturing that must be addressed by regulators and the Legislature
    • o   Production of petroleum energy is vital and necessary part of the California economy
  • ·         A comprehensive regulatory package will sufficiently ensure that California’s environmental health and natural resources are protected while safely using hydraulic fracturing technologies for energy production. 


A Q & A period followed. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.