The LA City Council voted unanimously today to move forward on a moratorium on "unconventional" drilling practices, City News Service reports. The City Attorney will write an ordinance that stop things like fracking, in which oil companies inject rock formations with water and chemicals to create cracks that produce oil or natural gas. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is being blamed for earthquake swarms in places that allow the practice so, obviously, doing such a thing in 'quake country is not too bright. (It's also just generally dangerous and bad for health and that kind of thing.) Once written and approved, the moratorium would be on the books until oil producers can prove they're not putting us at risk of earthquakes or damaging the environment. The law would also cover gravel-packing and acidization, the latter of which involves using chemicals to dissolve rocks around oil reservoirs, which is already practiced in the city; it's not clear if that will come to an end.
· Council Takes First Step to Halt Fracking in L.A. [CNS via Patch]