State Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, had this to say about hydraulic fracturing after she emerged from Tuesday's joint hearing of the Senate's Committee on Natural Resources and Water and its Environmental Quality Committee; both groups were looking at proposed state regulations on the practice also known as "fracking":

"Hydraulic fracturing has been used in California for approximately 60 years without any harm to the water supply or environment. Unlike other parts of the country where hydraulic fracturing is used to produce natural gas, it is used primarily to improve the productivity and efficiency of crude oil wells in California.

"This morning, state regulators indicated that they are working on a reasonable set of regulations based on sound science that doesn't impinge on the further recovery of oil in California. Recent discoveries in the Monterey Shale could provide enough recoverable oil to help eliminate the need for imported oil from the Middle East.

"The amount of economic activity and the royalties that we could collect from oil producers might help eliminate state budget deficits for the foreseeable future."

Fuller is a member of both committees.

-- Californian staff writer John Cox