Business

Calif. panel launches probe into offshore fracking

An oil drilling platform of Venoco, Inc. has operated near Santa Barbara, Calif. The state offshore fracking at its meeting on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. A recent Associated Press report found that federal regulators approved fracking off the California shoreline on at least a dozen occasions since the late 1900s.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

An oil drilling platform of Venoco, Inc. has operated near Santa Barbara, Calif. The state offshore fracking at its meeting on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. A recent Associated Press report found that federal regulators approved fracking off the California shoreline on at least a dozen occasions since the late 1900s.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

LOS ANGELES — California regulators have launched an investigation into offshore hydraulic fracturing after revelations that the practice had quietly occurred off the coast for the past two decades.

The California Coastal Commission promised to investigate the extent of so-called fracking in federal and state waters and any potential risks.

Advertisement

‘‘We take our obligation to protect the marine environment very seriously, and we’re going to be looking at this very carefully,’’ executive director Charles Lester said Thursday during the commission meeting.

As a first step, the coastal panel planned to ask oil companies proposing new offshore drilling jobs whether they will be using fracking and require them to submit an environmental review. It will determine further action after completing its fact-finding mission.

Get Business Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's latest business headlines delivered every morning, Monday through Friday.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

A recent report by the Associated Press documented at least a dozen instances of fracking since the late 1990s in Santa Barbara Channel, site of a disastrous 1969 oil platform blowout that spurred the modern environmental movement.

Fracking involves pumping huge quantities of water, sand, and a mixture of chemicals at high pressures to break up rock formations to recover oil and gas. Offshore fracking typically uses less water compared with fracking on land, where the practice has led to various efforts to ban or curtail it.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.