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State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Ohio and California Legislatures Approve Measures for Regulation of Shale Gas Fracking

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ENERGY: The OHIO House and Senate approve SB 315, which requires greater disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process to extract natural gas from underground shale deposits. The measure also requires water sampling within 1,500 feet of proposed water wells, mandates that oil and gas wells be tracked between the time they are drilled and the time they are capped and requires that waste fluids from other states be disclosed before they can be injected into wells in the Buckeye State. It moves to Gov. John Kasich (R), who is expected to sign it into law (STATE NET, REUTERS). • The CALIFORNIA Public Utilities Commission votes unanimously to lift the state's cap on rooftop solar units that qualify for "net" energy metering. Under the new regulations, the maximum capacity of rooftop solar systems increases from the current 2400 megawatts (MW) to 5,200 MW, enough electricity to supply about 2.1 million homes (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS). • Also in CALIFORNIA, the Senate rejects SB 1054, which would have required energy firms to notify property owners before using hydraulic fracturing to tap oil deposits on or near their land (LOS ANGELES TIMES). • Still in CALIFORNIA, the state Energy Commission approved upgraded building energy efficiency standards that will require new commercial and residential developments to have improved windows, insulation, lighting, air-conditioning systems and other features to help the state reduce its energy consumption by a projected 25 percent or more. The new standards take effect in January, 2014 (SACRAMENTO BEE).

Shale Gas Fracking

ENVIRONMENT: The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves AB 1532, which would authorize funds generated by the state's nascent "cap and trade" program - which caps how much various pollution generators can produce each year but also allows them to go over that cap by purchasing credits from companies that are below their limit - to be spent on projects promoting clean energy and pollution reduction. It moves to the Senate (SACRAMENTO BEE). • MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) signs two bills aimed at aiding the Pine Tree State's deer herds: HB 933, which authorizes fish and game officials to impose limits on the feeding of deer by the public when it's believed that feeding is having a detrimental effect on those deer and HB 298, which increases funding for a state program to thin out the state's coyote population (BANGOR DAILY NEWS).

- Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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