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Via electronic mail

February 15, 2013

Tim Kustic, State Oil and Gas Supervisor
Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources
801 K Street, MS 20-20
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Inadequate Public Notice for February 19, 2013 Public Fracking Workshop

Dear Mr. Kustic:

I’m writing to express my concern and disappointment about the lack of adequate public notice for the upcoming public workshop on fracking in Los Angeles. Californians are increasingly worried about fracking, a dangerous oil and gas extraction technique that threatens to pollute our air and water and undermine our efforts to fight climate change.

The February 19, 2013, public workshop is one of just three you’re holding across the entire state to get feedback on your “discussion draft” proposed fracking regulations. Yet your staff notified the public via an e-mail sent after 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, less than two weeks before this daytime event in downtown Los Angeles. There is nothing about the workshop on the homepage of the oil and gas division’s website, and there has been no other evident public outreach.

This is a public hearing, but I’m not sure your agency wants the public to attend. Providing less than two weeks notice and holding the workshop entirely during business hours means many concerned people will be unable to attend.  In fact, the procedure gives the impression that it was designed to minimize public turnout at this important public event. This raises fresh concerns about whether California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources will be transparent on other important matters. If your agency doesn’t properly notify the public about an informational workshop, how can Californians count on you to inform us when oil companies are using chemical-laden frack water near our homes, farms, and wildlife habitat?

I urge you to notify the public at least four weeks in advance of your next two fracking workshops, and to hold sessions both during the day and in the evening. The public deserves to know at least a month ahead of time where and when you’ll be inviting public comment on your proposed fracking regulations, and a schedule that maximizes the ability of all members of the public to attend. Such openness and consideration is required for the public to have confidence in your agency.  Thank you very much for your consideration of these concerns.

Yours Sincerely,

Kassie Siegel, director
Climate Law Institute
Center for Biological Diversity

Cc: comments@conservation.ca.gov



Fracking photo courtesy Flickr Commons/Justin Woolford