Hydraulic fracking bans advance at Hawaii legislature

Hydraulic fracking bans advance at Hawaii legislature by Big Island Video News, February 13, 2014

From the definitions section:

“Fluid” means any material or substance which flows or moves whether in semi-solid, liquid, sludge, gas, or any other form or state.

“Hydraulic fracturing” means a drilling operation into an underground geologic formation and the injection of fluids, gases, chemicals, sand, or any other substance with the intention to cause or enhance fractures in the geologic formation for the purpose of instigating or increasing the porosity or permeability of the geologic formation to initiate or increase the production of a desired commodity from a well. 

Ultimately, both House committees unanimously recommended the bill pass, but with some changes. The committees amended HB2359 by:

(1) Clarifying that the definition of “hydraulic fracturing” does not include drilling into underground geologic formations for the purpose of obtaining drinking water;

(2) Including a sunset date of July 1, 2017, and changing the effective date to January 28, 2878, to encourage further discussion; and

(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purpose of clarity.
Standing Committee Report for HB2359, House Draft 2


Until there is a clear understanding of what the health and environmental impacts are, the State of Hawai‘i should move forward with prohibiting hydraulic fracturing in our islands, as it is government’s responsibility to protect the health and well-being of our citizens.

Gary Hooser, a Kaua’i County Councilmember

“Please pass this pono malama ‘aina law!!!”

Luana Jones of the Kanaka Maoli ‘O Puna organization.

Fracking is VERY water intensive, and in fact the magazine publication of the American Chemical Society (Chemical & Engineering News) spelled out in a recent comprehensive article that worldwide fracking activities will indeed run in to the coming water shortage for human existence. We don’t need that kind of pressure in Hawaii. Let’s just not even start it. You don’t want to have to make future decisions on a large fracking operation vs. water needs of your constituents. Hawaii does not need fracking now, and probably never will. Let’s not go there. Thank you for passing this sane and “preventive” legislation. I know you will do the right thing for Hawaii’s future.

Andrea Rosanoff, Pahoa.

The consequences of hydraulic fracturing on the slopes of one of the world’s most active volcanoes are at best unknown and could be disastrous. It is incumbent on proponents of this technology to prove that this procedure is safe and environmentally benign. Until then, fracking must be banned.

Christopher Biltoft

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