Alicia Chang, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The federal government has approved three new fracking jobs off the shores of California as state coastal regulators voiced concerns about potential environmental impacts.
The work in the Santa Barbara Channel, site of a 1969 oil platform blowout, has not yet begun and it was not immediately clear when it would.
The disclosure Wednesday came as the California Coastal Commission attempts to exercise greater oversight of the contested practice known as hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep into rock formations to free oil.
The environmental impacts of fracking and other well stimulation techniques "are not well understood. To date, little data has been collected," said Alison Dettmer, a commission deputy director.
The agency launched an investigation into the extent of offshore fracking after The Associated Press last year documented at least a dozen instances of companies using the technique since the 1990s in federal waters.