Quantcast

Alameda Becomes 5th County in California to Ban Fracking

Energy

Five counties in California have now banned fracking. Alameda County is the latest to join the list after county leaders voted unanimously in favor of banning fracking Tuesday evening.

Alameda County is the first county in the San Francisco Bay area to ban hydraulic fracturing, CBS San Francisco reported. A coalition of environmental groups worked for more than two years to persuade county officials to ban the practice.

"We've taken a step that will protect everyone in Alameda County, especially our children and grandchildren, from toxic chemicals," said Karen White of the Alameda County Against Fracking coalition.

No companies frack in the county, but environmental groups wanted to prevent the practice from ever happening, The Mercury News reported.

Twenty people sat through the county's board of supervisors meeting to voice their support for the ban.

"It's the only way to protect our environment from the destructive effects of fracking" Kiana Tsao of the Sierra Club said. "Alameda County is a community, not just a commodity for the oil industry."

Environmentalists have been working to ban fracking one county at a time after Gov. Jerry Brown voiced his opposition to a statewide fracking ban.

Santa Cruz, San Benito, Mendocino and Butte counties are the four other counties that have already banned fracking. Environmentalists are now setting their sights on Santa Clara and Monterey counties. Monterey is set to vote in November on the issue.

Colorado will also see anti-fracking initiatives on the November ballot. Measure 75 would amend Colorado's constitution to enable local governments to enact regulations more protective of health and safety than those put in place by the state. This ballot initiative is in reaction to the Colorado's Supreme Court ruling in May that said oil and gas development is pre-empted by the state and that local communities could not pass fracking bans themselves.

The second measure, 78, would create 2,500-foot buffer zones between homes, schools and sensitive areas, such as playgrounds or water sources, and new oil and gas development.

The drilling industry is spending millions of dollars to stop the two statewide initiatives. Companies such as Anadarko Petroleum Corp, Noble Energy and Whiting Petroleum have funneled more than $6.7 million as of July 15 into Protect Colorado, an industry group that hopes to defeat the two initiatives.

Protect Colorado argues the initiatives threaten oil and natural gas development and would "devastate" the state's economy.

But Tricia Olson, executive director of Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking, told EcoWatch, "We've seen that this industry will say or do anything to mislead the public and protect their bottom line, but the scientific evidence speaks for itself: Fracking is a leading driver of climate change and destroys our most basic resources."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Individual standing in Hurricane Harvey flooding and damage. Jill Carlson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis

Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Read More Show Less
A pregnant woman works out in front of the skyline of London. SHansche / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.

Read More Show Less
Ten feet of water flooded 20 percent of this Minot, North Dakota neighborhood in June 2011. DVIDSHUB / CC BY 2.0

By Jared Brey

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle last October, it killed at least 43 people, caused an estimated $25 billion in damage and destroyed thousands of homes.

Read More Show Less
A protestor holds up her hand covered with fake oil during a demonstration on the U.C. Berkeley campus in May 2010. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

Read More Show Less

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Read More Show Less
Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

Read More Show Less