VENTURA, Calif. -

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, rallied outside a state hearing in Ventura Wednesday. About 100 people took part in a "Ban Fracking Now" protest outside the Ventura College Performing Arts Center on Loma Vista Road. That's where California regulators held the fourth of five hearings planned around the state. A new law requires the state to prepare an environmental impact report on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation practices.
 
By fracturing rocks with pressurized liquids, oil companies can stimulate wells to produce more oil and gas. Santa Barbara and Ventura County Sierra club members say they are worried about the liquids used and fracking's impact on public health and environments. Regulators will be collecting public comments on the scope of the EIR through Jan. 16. The EIR is supposed to be certified by July of next year. Comments can be mailed to Ms. Adele Lagomarsino, California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, 801 K St., ms 18-00, Sacramento, Ca 95814-353. For more information go to: http://www.conservation.ca.gov/index/pages/index.aspx.