Statewide fracking ban wanted in California

February 11, 2015 0 By Amanda Giasson

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Protesters in Oakland call on California governor to outlaw hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Approximately 8,000 Californians protested in Oakland this past Saturday, urging Governor Jerry Brown to follow in the footsteps of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently enforced a statewide ban on fracking in New York, and prohibit the controversial natural gas and oil drilling process throughout California.

Hydrofracturing has already been banned in two of the state’s counties.

Local and individual fracking bans were passed last years during elections in both San Benito and Santa Cruz. The bans passed in the two Californian counties, in spite of protests from the gas and oil industry, which claims that the key to energy independence is hydrofracturing. The next Californian town to vote on prohibiting the practice is La Habra Heights, which will take place on March 3rd.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a mining process that is used to extract gas and oil from underground rocks. Water and chemicals are injected at a high pressure deep beneath the surface to crack the rocks to obtain the gas or oil trapped within. A growing number of environmentalists and activists are voicing their concern about the practice, and say that it is bad for both the environment and people’s health. Critics of fracking argue that it contributes to climate change, pollutes communities, and wastes a huge amount of water.

Fracking results in a lot of wasted water that California can’t spare.

Fracking ban wanted in CaliforniaWater waste from fracking is a big concern for California, which is currently in the middle of a significant drought. According to Andrew Grinberg of Clean Water Action, the industry uses millions of gallons of water, every day.

“Across the state people are suffering from the worst drought we’ve ever seen here in California,” said Grinberg, who added, “when you’re running out of your most precious resource, it’s a good idea to start saving it and protecting it. We need real water leadership in California and real water leaders don’t frack.”

In addition, to wasting water, another concern weighing heavily on the minds of many Californians is the potential for the drilling operation to pollute aquifers.

That being said, it will be interesting to see if Governor Brown will answer the call of last Saturday’s protesters, which included environmental groups, labor unions, student organizations, medical professionals, and indigenous and minority groups, and work toward banning fracking in the state.