On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, three counties in California presented voters with measures to ban hydraulic fracturing and other forms of intensive oil and gas operations.  Voters in Santa Barbara County rejected the measure there, while voters in San Benito and Mendocino Counties approved their respective ballot measures.

Santa Barbara’s Measure P would have banned the use of “high-intensity” oil extraction methods, including fracking, by future oil and gas projects on unincorporated county land.  Measure J, the San Benito County Fracking Ban Initiative, also bans “high-intensity petroleum operations,” which includes fracking, acid well stimulation, and cyclic steam injection.  Additionally, it bans any new gas or oil drilling activity in residential and rural areas in the County.  Measure J passed 57% to 43%.  The Mendocino County Community Bill of Rights Fracking and Water Use Initiative, Measure S, bans “unconventional extraction of hydrocarbons,” including fracking.  The ordinance creates a strict liability scheme for damages to any person or property inside Mendocino County caused by unconventional extraction.  Measure S passed 67% to 33%.Continue Reading Two County Fracking Prohibitions Succeed While One Fails: What the Voting Results in Santa Barbara, San Benito, and Mendocino Counties Mean for the Oil & Gas Industry in California

iStock_000007254832Small.jpgThe State Water Resources Control Board (“Board”) held a workshop last week on a proposed regulation designed to assess and mitigate water use from the Russian River by growers in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties during frost season. Though no formal action took place, the Board received numerous comments on the proposed regulation. 

The regulation would