Frack or Fail: Is It Time For California's Liberals to Go?

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Editor's Note: California is in a LOT of trouble financially. Cities are going under and the state can't balance its budget. It also has almost half a trillion in state pensions to fund and revenue is drying up.

But there is one way out: Tap the largest oil and gas play in the Lower 48.

The question is whether this left-leaning state crowded with special interests like the Sierra Club will actually let oil services companies begin to start fracking on state land.

In our inaugural Money Morning Fight Club brawl, Frank Marchant and Garrett Baldwin square off on this contentious issue. The best part is we are asking you to turn in your scorecard and pick the winner at the end.

So let's get ready to rumble…

Garrett Baldwin: There's No Way California Gives a Frack

Although I'm highly bullish on natural gas in the United States, I hesitate to believe there will be much development of the enormous Monterey Shale in California within this decade.

And there's one simple reason for doubt: The Sierra Club.

Let me tell you why Frank's irrational understanding of California natural gas development is trumped only by his questionable taste in sweaters.

Just two weeks ago, a Federal judge sided with environmental groups and stopped development of 2,700 acres of the basin due to a "technicality."

The Federal court ruled on April 8 that authorities at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) broke the law when they leased government-controlled land to oil and natural gas drilling companies. The court argued that the BLM failed to provide proper environmental oversight and failed to assess "the risks of hydraulic fracturing."

This shouldn't be a surprise. At the center of the lawsuit was the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). The organizations sued and argued that Monterey County objected to the lease sale in 2011, citing its water agency's views that development would potentially hurt the municipal water supply. They want more time and more taxpayer-funded studies.

Of course, fracking won't put the water supplies at risk. This has been debunked time and time again. No one's tap will light on fire. No one is going to end up drinking fracking fluids. But that's not going to stop environmental groups from tying down the court systems and stalling development to the point that it no longer becomes economically viable to develop natural gas and investors start to withdraw from the state (much like other businesses).

Liberal academia dominates public policy in California. Yes, there is overwhelming evidence that fracking is safe, and it could usher in a whole new era of much-needed prosperity to the Golden State.

But good luck getting environmentalists to change their ideology.

About three years ago, I lived in Washington, DC and advocated for more development of U.S. natural gas resources. I would convince one environmental group that fracking was safe and could lower carbon emissions.

They'd be happy, and we'd shake hands. Then, when I turned around, there would be five more people I'd have to convince. It was a constant cycle, and finally, I just decided to stop giving myself ulcers.

In Washington, there is a misconception that the NRA or the AARP are the two strongest lobbying arms. That's incorrect.

The strongest force in Washington is the environmental lobby due to its incessant usage of the U.S. court system to tie down and prevent development long after the pseudo-science many of them peddle has been debunked. The reality is, they simply don't like economic development and the "pursuit of profit."

Earlier in the decade, California decimated wide swaths of its agricultural community in pursuit of protecting an endangered fish known as the Delta Smelt. At the center of this litigation was, you guessed it, the Sierra Club.

Over the last four years, the Keystone Pipeline has been delayed time and time again… and the Sierra Club has been right there, doing everything it can to keep the earth as undeveloped as it was 10,000 years ago.

This entire situation is ironic, since, four years ago, the Sierra Club lobbied that natural gas was an alternative solution to coal and oil. But then a funny thing happened; fracking made it easier and cheaper to drill for natural gas.

Carbon dioxide levels in the U.S. plummeted, but the environmental lobby continues to do all it can to put the brakes on natural gas development. It seems to have nothing to do with the environment anymore. It's bigger than that. California, which is run by a Democratic Super Majority, isn't going to stop listening to the environmental lobby, especially given its deep pockets.

My colleague Frank wants to give California legislators the benefit of the doubt and suggest that they now have developed common sense and a desire to fix their budget. Here's the problem: They'll never have any. So long as the Sierra Club has lawyers, California won't have very much fracking.

Frank Marchant: California Can Frack or Fail

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Jon | May 3, 2013

    Put the fracking up the cali.libnazis arse. Let them eat frack. If the sierra club or any of the other libnut groups don't like it then make them pay the bills the state can't. I wonder how long it will take for them to change their tune. Tax the hell out of them!

    • Marilyn Johnson | May 3, 2013

      But all the environmental groups are non-profit and don't pay any taxes….Changing this system would be considered as "bullying the organization to change its mind/tactics" and wouldn't go over well, I'm afraid

    • Kim Feil | May 5, 2013

      What is more important? The state paying its bills or passing the medical bills on to the citizens that get cancer from breathing frack? My family has been within a mile to 100 gas wells now and my husband has cancer at age 47…his lymph nodes started to swell at the same time my teenager started having this wierd rash in January…all after the closest padsite two blocks from my home has been active by the Cowboys Stadium…this fear mongering article doesn’t put into perspective who actually pays the price….we already hit our $10,000 out of pocket health insurance expenses in just one month.

  2. Kent Greenough | May 3, 2013

    Having left the late great state of California in 2004, for all the reasons others are and will continue to flee, I can only side with Garrett. The idiots that run California and have for the past 4 decades ruined the best and once greatest state in the union. I graduated from UCLA in 1971, tuition was affordable, as was housing and I planned to live there the rest of my life.

    Year by year, law by law, the legislators dismantled the once Golden State for political power. Fine roads deteriorated, schools became a joke, taxes went out the roof, etc. As a small business you were taxed and harried at every turn. Caltrans had in 2001 over 10,000 fully engineered road projects being held up or stopped the the enviro Nazi's. As noted, agriculture, once the state's leading industry was decimated. California, which once fed 1/8th of the world's population is now a net food importer!!

    These fools are so blinded by false science and dogmas, so bent on socialistic policies, that they will, without a doubt, bankrupt this state and the nation with it.

    • Olin | May 3, 2013

      I agree. Fortunately I just left the State of Calexico (or Mexifornia if you prefer) and am extremely pleased by a slower pace of life. I expect to live a lot longer without all the tension and entitlement attitudes.

  3. Archy | May 3, 2013

    Kal-lee-four-nee-a is going bankrupt and IL, NY, NJ can't bail then out, and TX and FL won't.

  4. Ibrahim Nasr | May 3, 2013

    Please sign me up for the Money Morning Newsletter

  5. Ken higby | May 3, 2013

    I live in Frenont county Wyoming and know first hand what fracking can do to ground water. and have heard the facts and fanticies from both sides. It is impossible to pump billions of gallons of fluids underground and contain it where it doesnt do damage. The real question here is do we look the other way or face the truth. Even if we frack the problem is over spending of revenues by leadership. not the lack of revenues available. The people of California and this nation have to stop spending what they dont have and start living within their means. Elect men and women who understand fiscal responsiblity and have public service moral, ethical, and economic values not self centered greed for personal wealth. TO BE OF SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC THAT ELECTED THEM. not the special interests. We as a nation need to stop trying to keep up with the Jones and work and live within our means. To many wants and not being satisfied with just taking care of the needs.

    • Alistair Sinclair | May 3, 2013

      Sorry Ken … fracking will be 'perfected' long before the 'self centered greed' problem is solved. I'll go with fracking. BTW: Fracking is being done, and has been done, all over North America without problems. Perhaps you ran into a one-off issue. I agree, ground water has to be known and investigated, and the fracking must take place either sans ground-water, or far below. However, there are far greater threats to water worldwide … such as un-treated sewage … the biggest issue of our time that you hear NOT A WORD from the green-weenies. Look, I've been an environmentalist for 40 years, a real one, not a phony one. Today, so-called environmentalists are not even remotely concerned about reality, they simply want to stop any and all development in pursuit of a mindless and false utopia that exists only in their delusional minds … sorry if that bursts your bubble but it's the simple truth. Obstruction for the sake of obstruction, quite pathetic really, then they turn around and crow about 'science' while actually ignoring the mountains of non-contrived scientific evidence … it's called MENTAL ILLNESS. I quit Green-Piece in the 80's … I no longer belong to ANY environmental group as they are ALL politicized beyond belief … just a bunch of lefty-loons wasting everyone's time and energy, while ignoring ACTUAL issues. Like, just why in the hell are we still doing Ethanol? And, like, why in the hell are we selling CFLs containing mercury? And like, why is the gub-ment picking winners and losers, screwing up markets, with massive bankruptcy fallout in SOLAR? Hmmm? Makes you wonder where all that greed is coming from doesn't it? Not from any honest working people I know! Sounds like all the money flows to politically connected advocacy groups for shit that doesn't work now, doesn't it?

    • Ron Manges | May 5, 2013

      Amen brother!! Your words are well written and very accurate! I'm with you on this one!
      Ron Manges
      Coalport PA

  6. Bob van der Valk | May 3, 2013

    The Monterey Shale Formation runs along the San Andreas earthquake fault line. The California extreme environmentalist movement will do all in their power to keep this large crude oil reserves from being tapped. As of Eastern Montana and North Dakota, we like the work it has brought to our poor economic area prior to the oil boom.

  7. mike jelle | May 3, 2013

    the liberals are very much like a drunk in the family. everybody knows what he should do but he won't until he hits bottom. Trying to help California or Detroit or anybody else seldom helps and like in the case of the drunk usually hurts him and delays the unavoidable. California will expect the feds to bail their ass out as will Detroit and Ill. They need to hit bottom hard enough to bounce then maybe the liberals will wake up?

  8. CW | May 3, 2013

    We have the "green" alternative to fracking and can generate 300-800% more production for a longer period of time with no chemicals or risk of collateral damage. We have successfully treated over 1000 wells so far and are just getting started.

    There are better systems than fracking out there!

    CW

    • Dick Greenwood | May 3, 2013

      BETTER EXTRACTION METHOD; let's get the info out on bigger forums. hammer away at FOX etc. Let's not keep it a secret. It's the first mention I've heard, terrific. Keep it up; let's get out of that BOX.

    • TN transplant | May 3, 2013

      Tell us more about this "green" fracking, CW?

  9. Dick Greenwood | May 3, 2013

    FRACKING; Why is it we only hear from politicians & jounalists on scientific matters ? Everyone speaks of quotes from science but never actually publicizes or broadcasts a geologists' comments, for instance. The whole population can't read 'Scientific American'.

  10. Frank B. | May 3, 2013

    Sorry to say that bankruptcy seems to be in the cards, not only in california, but nationwide. Everything I see and hear tells me that the obummer REGIME can't wait for this to happen!
    Common Sense ain't so common anymore!

  11. tom bissett | May 3, 2013

    I have to agree with higby. People have forgotten that democracy is a participatory system and if you just leave it up to everyone else you get well california, the US. We have forgotten that we can field a local representatives and don't have to put up with the self indolgent self interested thiefs that the money men put out there. If you don't participate then you have to live with what you are given.

  12. Justin Souter | May 3, 2013

    It's hard for me to believe that intelligent conservatives could think that pumping hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals into the ground (per well), only half of which are recovered, could possibility be safe. It's time that corporate and government policy protect people above economic gain.

  13. Thomas Brown | May 3, 2013

    The CA libs are way too proud and arrogant to ever admit their failure, even as the state collapses. Many other states are looking very attractive. CA is not the paradise it once was. Packin'.

  14. Jim | May 3, 2013

    This country is on a downward slide because: (1) its citizens expect the government to provide all their needs and desires without taking significant personal responsibility and (2)
    corporate greed at the executive level where many think they deserve salaries and perks that are 300 to 500 times the wages of their highest paid hourly employees. (3} Legislators are elected based upon how much pork they promise to get back to the voters and then when elected their responsibility is how much wealth and special privledge they can acquire while in office.

    The social security of the 1930's was designed to assist, not totally finance, the needy during the last 5 to 10 years of their lives; now the expectation is total support for the last 20-30 years, based on mortality rates. Budgets be damned.
    How many companies could treat their employees and shareholders better if the executives pay were maxed out at 1 or 2 million dollars? Are there any in the US Congress who are not millionaires after there 1st term? Does anyone really believe we can address our national and state debts by spending more money?? Is bankrupty deserved?? Is common sense prohibited?

  15. Leslie Belden | May 3, 2013

    THANK YOU, KEN HIGHBY!!! I wish these jokers would go frack themselves.

    If fracking is such a good idea, why are oil producers suddenly looking into ecological liability insurance that was never considered necessary in the industry before? Probably a great little extra perk for the insurance giants.

    I GET SCARED WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE OUT OF STATE DECIDING WHAT'S GOOD FOR ME. IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE IRAQ, OR A CITIZEN OF A BANANA REPUBLIC.

    Oil from anything isn't going to save California, or the country. North Sea oil bailed Britain out in the eighties, and they went right back to the same banking practices that screwed them at the time of the American Revolution and for all time after that.

    Shale oil is the biggest scam since the South Sea Bubble, and is being marketed in much the same way. Maybe the technology will come along in the future to make shale oil profitable, but it isn't here now. Extracting shale oil is so expensive, that it isn't going to save anyone's economy.

    Why is Money Morning pumping shale oil? Because some of its guys, like Kent Moors, are being paid to sell it. Why has Obama promised permits to frackers, and not to developers who want to use traditional methods of drilling on land that has much more promise for producing oil and natural gas than shale fields?

    Here's what's really happening–

    Traditional drilling doesn't get government subsidies. Shale oil does. It gets taxpayer money from our government and the "foundations" of the mega-rich for developing "alternative energy solutions." Big Oil is paying itself to fail, and charging us at the pump to pay for it.

    Then there's the fact that the "promise" of shale oil is being used to manipulate oil prices.

    Bio-fuel development is another "alternative energy source." So go ahead, you gunnifs, and blame fossil fuels for global warming out of one side of your favorite cabal's mouth, while f__cking the country with your forked tongue out of the other. You've already turned most of California's food production into corn for fuel, with tax dollars in subsidies.

    You morons who think fracking is a great idea will probably not mind the scarcity of food, or its rising price–clearly you are cases of diminished capacity, if you can't see that fracking is leading to the privatization of water. When you're done, we'll all have to pay for air. But you're just as dumb as all collaborators with the enemy have always been–you will never get the price you were promised. You'll be shot first.

    You morons who think nationalizing oil in order to control gas prices and bail out the economy are even dumber. Our government IS PRIVATELY OWNED, just like the Fed. Take a good look at what happens to all countries where oil exploration and development get nationalized.

    Do you even know who you're working for? Monsanto, AIG, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, et al., not to mention Big Oil.

    Shame on you. And shame on Money Morning. If it weren't for guys like Shah Gilani, I wouldn't be here.

    • Doris Kelsey | May 3, 2013

      Where is the 'like' button? You are right on, especially about the privatizing of water and food production. Where are our priorities?

    • Alistair Sinclair | May 3, 2013

      Oh my God, you are the most confused person I've ever seen. You're not thinking, you're babbling a bunch of random crap you picked up somewhere.

      Please, don't ever post here again.

    • FAIZUL RAMJOHN | May 3, 2013

      I AM A PETROLEUM ENGINEERING GRADUATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI IN 1976.
      BEING A PETROLEUM CONSULTANT HERE IN TRINIDAD, I FOLLOW THE AMERICAN POLITICS OF THE US OIL INDUSTRY, AND I ENDORSE YOUR VIEWS !!
      WILL CONTACT YOU FOR FURTHER SUGGESTIONS/ COMMENTS.
      REPLY ME BY EMAIL.
      FAIZUL.

      PS: CAN THE EDITOR OF THIS ARTICLE OR PRESIDENT OF OIL AND GAS COMPANIES EDUCATE / ENLIGHTED THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ON WHAT IS EXACTLY IS ENTAILED IN THE FRACTURING (NOT "FRACKING") ON AN OIL OR GAS. RESERVOIR ??

  16. Ian | May 3, 2013

    One of the best parts of the US political system, as opposed to Europe, or GB where I live, is the ability of citizens to move to a state where the locals political opinions coincide with their own. Over time it allows a good anthropological experiment to be evaluated. Californians now face the financial consequences of the choices they have made. I am with Garrett on this – I do not see Californians making the choice towardsa less impediments of commercial ventures until after catastophe has struck. At least unlike-minded California citizens can up sticks and move el;sewhere.

  17. Andy Giertz | May 3, 2013

    I've got to go with Garrett. The problem with Frank's argument is that he assumes common sense might play some part in decision making in Sacramento. As a long time resident of this beautuful state, I can assure you that it does not. Sad, but true.

  18. Bill Roth | May 3, 2013

    I live in West Texas and drink the water everyday. I am still alive. California should go back and listen to Clinton. "It's the econemy stupid." If the fed. government bails them out because of thier utopian spendin, I will be first in line to vote the idiots out.

  19. T Langford | May 3, 2013

    I am not voting on the "debate," since both sides represent a desire for fracking and only debate whether the oil/natural-gas interests and Californian politicians will manage to do it. Ken Higby and Tom Bissett make sense without the use of any idiotic name-calling, bad grammar, or un-cited "science." They put the blame where it belongs: Corporate and Government (financial) self-interests, as well as politicians' lack of representing the desires of the CITIZENS who elected them. The citizens also need to accept fiscal responsibility, as Ken Higby states, and live within their means rather than their "wants," including governmental bodies.

  20. Galen | May 3, 2013

    Fracking is simply Last Gasp Greed. These two articles speak to the absolute irrationality and hypocrisy of so-called "Conservatism" when any threat to their money is concerned. Both articles declare that California MUST have fracking because they are financially ruined. How "conservative " is it to geologically rape a state in exchange for a short term financial boost, which will no more save it financially the did the other financial flashes in the pan have. It seems these days conservatives are actually conservative when it suits them.

    These writers are either in complete denial, or they are simply lying for financial gain. An actual conservative perspective would ask first for solid evidence, by means of Independent research and testing, to determine the long term effects of any new technology. And the bill for that research should be passed directly to those companies desiring to exploit the resources for their own gain, and not to the taxpayer. It is not a conservative concept to require that all the risk and expense must be carried by the public, while all the profits go to the entrepreneur.
    Further, it is complete folly to rely on petroleum industry research, which has time and again proven to be flawed, biased, self-serving, badly designed and often just wrong. They have lied to everyone repeatedly, and deserve neither any credibility, nor our trust.

    I live in Colorado and I have personally traveled in the fracking fields, spoken with the workers (most of whom are being paid @ $7.50/hr for 10 hr days and are required to work a lot of overtime doing dirty, dangerous work), and I am appalled at both the magnitude of the enterprise, as well as the haste with which it appears to being done. And all of this seems to have sailed in under the radar of careful scrutiny and public debate. My friends in Wyoming and South Dakota relate stories to me about contaminated land, surface and well water, and total frustration when dealing with regulatory and judicial authorities. I have seen water being trucked-in around the clock, millions upon millions of gallons, to be used in this process. The sources and quality of this water is not disclosed, nor is its ultimate disposition. Gigantic quantities of high explosives are being utilized to blast the substrate into submission, which cannot be happening without at least occasional bad consequence. I have only to look to the mountains of my own state and view the environmental devastation caused by the haste and blatant disregard of the gold and silver rushes there over a hundred years ago. Our streams there remain unfishable, and the water undrinkable due to heavy metal pollution, as well as poisons such as mercury and arsenic used in the extraction processes. I fear greatly for the future of our farmers and ranchers and their descendants in the face of this very similar petroleum rush. Their futures it seems are being completely disregarded in the rush for the short term enrichment of a small number of people who care not what harm comes to others in the process. That, it seems to me is the height of immorality, and very not conservative.

    California is riddled with geological faults of all sizes. Merely pumping fluids into disposal wells has been know to affect such faults, triggering small earthquakes. What will be the short and long term effects of blasting such zones with high explosives and subjecting them to immense hydrostatic pressures by pumping them full of million of gallons of water under high pressure?
    This seems to me to be not only not conservative, but highly imprudent. In addition, California faces the same water crisis that most of the western states face. To be utilizing such a precious resource in such quantities needed for this process, while at the same time endangering groundwater and aquifers is folly, purely and simply.

    Finally, what is being done is final; it cannot be fixed later, if found to be damaging. We will all pay those costs, just as we are paying the costs for the the devastation caused by the Gold Rush miners who took their profits and moved on, leaving us to attempt to live with and clean up their messes. And, who will be accountable for this mess? It will not be the the petroleum industry, which has legally insulated itself and will deny liability. It will not be the government, which is bankrupt already, and will blame it on necessity and national security. It is a sad legacy we leave to out heirs. We should not be proud of our entrepreneurship; we should be ashamed.

    I'm for making a buck just as much as the next guy, however, doing so at the expense of my neighbor's welfare, the planet and its resources, which belong to us all, is not something I am willing to do. We need to stop this now, do the proper research, and have the debate before proceeding any further down this very slippery slope.

    • Brett | May 14, 2013

      As usual I see a liberal doesn't let the truth get in the way of their agenda. As soon as I read the part about the $7.50 per hr wages I knew we had a problem with facts. The facts are a roustabout working on gas and oil rigs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,in Bakersfield_Delano,Ca makes $17.22/hr. The mean national rate is $17.21/hr. with workers in Alaska bringing in $25.49/hr.,North Dakota earning $22.18,and Montana @$22.97/hr. The lowest wage was in Longview Texas @ $13.91/hr. these figures are from May of 2012. As to fracking causing environmental problems I live in the center of the Marcellus shale natural gas region, I have 4 shallow gas wells on my land,all of which have been hydraulically fracked with no problems. There are also numerous Deep horizontally drilled wells within 10 miles of where I live and I have not heard of any problems there either. The stories that you hear are just that made up just like the lie about the wages paid to rig hands. I am sure if there were problems the liberal controlled media would be all over it. The fact is you liberals will never be happy . There are wind farms along the ridge tops ,and wouldn't you know it some environmental group complains that the blades are killing some birds,others are complaining about the noise,in my opinion the worst thing about them is they are unsightly,they mess up the natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains. I wonder how these brainiac liberals are going to pay for their nanny state utopia when they run out of credit. California will be begging for a bail out, I say let them use their natural resources or starve, They put themselves in this mess,they can get themselves out.

      • Redrocks | May 28, 2013

        Amen Brett! I yet to see anyone against the the exploitation of natural resources ever live without them…

  21. David Seifert | May 3, 2013

    Clearly these two commentators are on the same side of the issue- what an absolute scam debate. I do not give a damn about CA's fiscal health. It is no way as important to the health of the planet and what condition we leave it in for future generations. Obviously those of us who did not fall asleep during science class can understand that more CO2 and methane gas in the atmosphere will ultimately make the earth so damn hot and change the weather patterns and ocean currents and ph levels so much that future generations of all plant and animals will find it difficult or ultimately impossible to survive. How soon will this problems affect the average American? 60 % of the country was in a drought condition last year; the average family in USA spent $400 for disaster reiief because less than 20 years ago we had 2 over one billion dollar disasters/ year, now we have 10 such episodes and as the planet heats up more weather disasters than 10 will occur . Democracies are crisis oriented so the fiscal crisis in CA will trump any concerns for our grandkids' planet. The country needs a huge World War 2 type of commitment to stop burning fossil fuels and start converting to renewables. The cost of such change is very large but no where near the cost of the problems that higher oceans will bring to all of our coastal cities.

  22. Don McCallum | May 3, 2013

    It is the nature of a politician, having acquired one pile of tax revenue to begin seeking another. He will blow the first pile to help justify the need for a new pile. He will say that everything he does is for the good of the people but that is a lie, as his real motivation is the aggrandizement of himself. There are no exceptions to this rule of thumb. All politicians are inherently evil. Having said that, it will not matter if California does acquire extra revenue by fracking the Monterrey Shale. They will blow the money and start looking for more. They are morally and financially bankrupt and deserve a triple F credit rating if Moody's actually has a score that bad. And through it all people keep lumping all Californians in the same bin. Those of us who can move will, those of us who can't move will rebel. Sooner or later heads will roll. I will help to construct the new improved model of Madame Guillotine. I estimate that we will need a throughput of 1000 heads per hour to rid California of the pestilence in an acceptably short period of time. After its efficacy is proven in California we will be happy to lend it to the peoples of other states similarly afflicted. Shades of Le Miserable.

  23. Andy Schuck | May 3, 2013

    California may as well go bankrupt. And instead of them seceding, we should just THROW THEM OUT, and then give Illinois, NY, NJ and MA their warning letters that they will be next.

    DO NOT BAIL OUT ANY OF THESE STATES THAT ARE EXPECTING US TO DO JUST THAT!!

  24. Backtobasics | May 4, 2013

    California, like its big bro, Uncle Sam, can't solve its problems by making tax revenue more abundant. The only solution I can see is to declare bankruptcy and let some court order the state to cut its obscene spending.

  25. Arthur Robey | May 4, 2013

    A sham debate. Frack or die? Frack and die. Leave the carbon in the ground. Leave something for the grandkids.
    Whats the matter? Has the neighbour got a newer dishwasher than yours?
    Dry your eyes princess.

  26. Stephan B | May 5, 2013

    Mr Baldwin's assertion that of course ground water is not contaminated by fracking is completely arrogant and blind. What? Do you think all these stories from all areas where fracking is occuring are made up? It's people like you that just make the truth harder to see. Why don't you get humble and go visit some folks who've had their water ruined, their health ruined and their real estate value brought close to Zero due to fracking. Those people are not hard to find. WAKE UP

  27. Ren M | May 6, 2013

    You don't sell your organs when you're in debt… You get a job and cut spending. This article is mesmessed up. There are plenty ways out of debt other than fracking.

  28. Dick Greenwood | May 6, 2013

    As I mentioned previously;but you didn't post it. Any endeavor granting a politician (California in this case) 24.6 billion in revenue will only lead to expenditures of what 24.6 billion can leverage. Take a look at our national 16.7 trillion debt. See any debt reduction ? Term Limits will go further than any amount of revenue.

  29. dan | May 23, 2013

    First, and most obvious, is the fact the premise is false. Californias budget is balanced and funds aren't drying up they're replenishing.

    Second, the largest lobby, spending $8.5 million last year alone, is the western states petroleum association. The special interest you villify, the Sierra Club, didn't spend a million. And while western states spent $8.5 million, chevron alone spent another $5.6 million. BP shell, mobil and texaco, and tesoro the states largest refinery owner… each spent millions as well. And you villify the Sierra Club?

    And with the Citizens United v. FEC decision, cal chamber of commerce has doubled its campaign contributions since 2010.

    So what was your argument about frackng? It uses huge amounts of water california and texas for that matter cannot spare. ( see john kemp with reuters or dan aiello with california progress report for that background), has an industry admitted casing or holding pond failure rate of 6-10% and has the potential of destroying the states number one industry… agriculture, for the next hundred years.

    I'd say neither of these arguments was valid as the premise itself was seriously inaccurate.

  30. Redrocks | May 28, 2013

    If we are to consume… We have to produce. The consequence of not producing is DEBT!

  31. H. Craig Bradley | May 30, 2013

    WHY THE STATE CAN NOT CHANGE

    California will continue to spend and regulate to their hearts content. The environmentalists do have a lock on the Federal government and the State of California which is unlikely to end any time soon. So, the state will continue to raise taxes on businesses and individuals until there is no more money to take. Until then, the State of California will just take private property rather than drill or "frack". The hard fact is they are stupid and will not change. The Federal goverment is right behind Calif. too.

    As far as the BLM or BUREAU of Land Management goes, they have been under the control of the Federal courts and the many lawsuits filed against them by environmental groups such as the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council ever since the early 1970's.

    One Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest Regional Office of the U.S. Forest Service ( Rick Ross, now retired) said this about the Bureau of Land Management: "They can not even go to the bathroom without first asking permission". Consequently, agencies like the BLM are bureaucracy at its worst.

    Rick Ross runs a small vineyard near the town of Dundee, Oregon. He once attempted to run for local public office a number of years ago, but it did not work out (not elected).

  32. enthusceptic | June 9, 2013

    It will be very interesting to see how fracking develops in North America, because there are huge unconvetional oil and natgas deposits all over the world.
    Also interesting is the idea of fracking the San Andreas fault, blubb blubb and bye bye. The geeks can gather somewhere else, and the world doesn't need Hollywood.

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