Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California crafts groundwater monitoring rules for fracking sites

Fracking wells run day and night in Shafter, California.
Fracking wells run day and night in Shafter, California.

California remains bitterly divided over the oil extraction process known as fracking. While the energy industry contends it will bring new jobs to the state, environmentalists seek to ban the practice until it is proven safe. Their loud opposition has even become a political thorn for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has otherwise made environmental causes such as climate change a focus of his administration.

Despite the controversy, the state is working to develop regulations for fracking, in which pressurized chemicals and water are injected underground to dislodge gas trapped in rock formations. The latest phase deals with groundwater monitoring around well sites; environmental groups have raised concerns that fracking contaminates local groundwater supplies.

The State Water Resources Control Board hosts a public workshop to discuss how and when sampling of groundwater will be conducted, 8:30 a.m. at the Cal/EPA Building on I Street.

VIDEO: This year’s record low voter turnout looks downright impressive compared to Tuesday’s special Senate election, Dan Walters says.

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD: The state employee food drive gets another big push today from the California Department of Education. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will be joined by Santa and Mrs. Claus to collect nonperishable items for the Sacramento Food Bank, 7:30 a.m. outside the department headquarters on N Street.

EASY AS 1-2-3: What order will candidate’s names appear on the ballot for local elections in March? The Secretary of State’s office holds a randomized alphabet drawing at 11 a.m.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.