The discovery of a vast new oil reserve below some of the world’s most productive farmland in California is raising questions and concerns about how to balance energy security and food security. The hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) technology being used to extract the oil is as yet largely unregulated and unmonitored, and it has the potential to use vast amounts of water and contaminate groundwater in a region that is already facing water scarcity challenges and contamination from nitrate fertilizers. You will hear about the environmental and agricultural issues involved and get an overview of the state policies being debated.
Jim Leap, Sustainable Ag Educator/Advisor, San Juan Bautista, CA,
Seth B. Shonkoff, Physicians, Scientists, & Engineers for Healthy Energy, Berkeley, CA.