Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Fracktivists urge California to follow New York ban

Anti-fracking demonstrators protest the Brown administration's failure to stop fracking in California during a rally at the State Capitol on March 15, 2014.
Anti-fracking demonstrators protest the Brown administration's failure to stop fracking in California during a rally at the State Capitol on March 15, 2014.

Hydraulic fracturing has undeniably arrived in California. The controversial oil extraction process, commonly known as fracking, was used at half of the new wells drilled in the state over the past decade, and its scope will likely only expand in the oil fields of the San Joaquin Valley.

But environmental activists, who have hounded Gov. Jerry Brown over his support for fracking in recent years, are not giving up their efforts to end the practice in California. Already regulars at the Capitol from protests during events like the State of the State address, Californians Against Fracking will once again be on the north steps at 11 a.m., calling upon Brown to follow New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lead and halt fracking.

Last month, Cuomo prominently banned the practice in New York, citing concerns over health risks. Participants at today’s Capitol demonstration will present a review of the New York State Department of Health studies that led to Cuomo’s decision, and discuss the “threat of air and water contamination” that fracking poses.

VIDEO: The Legislature exempted itself from open meeting laws, allowing California's ruling Democrats to shape the coming session in secret, Dan Walters says.

OUT OF THE PAST: The State Historical Resources Commission will gather for its quarterly meeting, 9 a.m. at Sacramento City Hall on I Street, where it will consider new submissions for the National Register of Historic Places. Among the 11 nominations are the Aeneas Sardine Packing Company at Cannery Row in Monterey and the JC Weinberger Winery in Napa Valley.

MAN’S BEST FRIEND: State workers, grab a bone and head over to 801 Capitol Mall at 2 p.m. to meet companion dogs and the people who train them at an event sponsored by the joint disability advisory committee of the California Department of Human Resources and the State Personnel Board.

LADIES WHO LEAD: California Women Lead, which helps women get involved with elected and appointed office, hosts a welcome party to honor the Legislative Women’s Caucus and women serving in statewide office, 5:30 p.m. at Park Ultra Lounge on 15th Street. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen and Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma are all scheduled to deliver remarks.

One of the event’s sponsors, natural gas and geothermal energy company Calpine, is making a day of it, bringing a group of its female employees up to Sacramento to meet with California Women Lead CEO Rachel Michelin and female lawmakers, including Olsen, to learn more about personal brand management and the legislative process.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Rep. Linda Sánchez, D-Whittier, who turns 46 today.

READ MORE: Jerry Brown followed to events, heckled by California environmentalists over fracking

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