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California Releases Draft Fracking Regulations

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A hydraulic fracturing site is viewed on June 19, 2012 in South Montrose, Pennsylvania. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, stimulates gas production by injecting wells with high volumes of chemical-laced water in order to free-up pockets of natural gas below. The process is controversial with critics saying it could poison water supplies, while the natural-gas industry says it's been used safely for decades. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A hydraulic fracturing site is viewed on June 19, 2012 in South Montrose, Pennsylvania. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, stimulates gas production by injecting wells with high volumes of chemical-laced water in order to free-up pockets of natural gas below. The process is controversial with critics saying it could poison water supplies, while the natural-gas industry says it’s been used safely for decades. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After decades of oil drilling, California has released draft regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The proposed rules were posted online Tuesday by the state’s oil regulators. California currently oversees oil well construction but it has not required disclosure of fracking practices.

Under the draft regulations, operators would have to name the chemicals used in fracking and they would have to test their wells to ensure they can withstand the drilling process.

Fracking has been quietly going on in several counties including Los Angeles, Kern, Monterey and Sacramento to extract hard-to-reach oil. Other states use the technique to recover natural gas.

Environmentalists worry fracking can contaminate groundwater and pollute the air. The industry has said it has been safely used for decades.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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