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Lawmakers act on fracking, safety of oil transport

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The state Senate is moving to prepare for accidental spills and explosions as more oil is shipped into California by rail but has rejected a moratorium on fracking, the contentious method for extracting oil.

Lawmakers on Wednesday approved SB1319 in response to a series of damaging oil spills from rail cars in other states and Canada.

The bill would expand the state's existing oil spill prevention program, traditionally aimed at oil tanker ships and pipeline spills, to include rail disasters. The state Office of Spill Prevention and Response would handle all types of spills under the bill.

It was approved on a 23-11 vote and now heads to the Assembly.

Senators defeated SB1132, which would have imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, used to extract oil and natural gas.

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