The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Breaking: Los Angeles Passes Fracking Moratorium
Los Angeles is the largest city in the U.S. to place a moratorium on fracking.
City council unanimously voted Friday afternoon to send a moratorium motion to the city attorney’s office to be written as a zoning ordinance. It will then return to council for a final vote.
A tweet from city councilman Mike Bonin moments after the vote expressed the gravity of the action:
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) February 28, 2014
Friday's motion places a moratorium on fracking and other "well stimulation" practices at drilling sites until the city verifies that fracking does not compromise residents' personal safety or the drinkability of their water. That could come in the form of state or federal regulators providing protections or declaring fracking to be safe. Who knows when, if ever, that will take place.
The vote also makes Los Angeles first oil-producing city in California to ban fracking technologies.
"We congratulate the Los Angeles City Council for supporting the L.A. fracking moratorium motion, a strong step toward protecting the people of Los Angeles from severe health and environmental impacts,” said Adam Scow, California's director of Food & Water Watch. “We urge the city attorney to stand by the motion’s strong language and set a powerful and positive example for other communities and Gov. [Jerry] Brown, who should immediately enact a statewide moratorium to protect all Californians."
Several organizations that traveled to Los Angeles City Hall Friday to witness the vote left feeling better about the city's future and air. For instance, the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation and the People Not Pozos campaign bussed about 50 residents.
"While state oil and gas regulators drag their feet on enforcing existing rules and taking adequate precaution for the health of our communities, rivers and ocean, L.A. residents suffer from what is already occurring at the nation’s largest urban oil field and in communities throughout the city,"said Liz Crosson, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper. "We don’t know all of the chemicals oil companies are exposing us to when they frack in our neighborhoods, but we know enough to know we don’t want them in our air or in our water."
To most in the state, the next step would be a ban throughout California. Since the launch of Californians Against Fracking in May 2013, more than 200,000 petitions have been signed urging Gov. Brown to ban fracking in California. Farmers, environmental justice groups, students and celebrities are among those advocating a statewide ban. However, some would like L.A. County to step up, too.
According to The Los Angeles Times, fracking, acidizing and gravel packing taken place in about 100 more wells in the county than the city. None of the city wells reported any hydraulic fracturing during that period.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Weight loss aside, there is no shortage of benefits to eating healthier: a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, reduced gut inflammation and preventing memory loss later in life, to name a few. A healthy diet may also reduce hearing loss later in life, according to a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Tesla just unveiled its first electric truck.
CEO Elon Musk showed off the new design at a launch event at the company's Design Studio in Hawthorne, California Thursday.
By Jason Bittel
Authorities in Hong Kong intercepted some questionable cargo three years ago — a rather large shipment of shark fins that had originated in Panama. Shark fins are a hot commodity among some Asian communities for their use in soup, and most species are legally consumed in Hong Kong, but certain species are banned from international trade due to their extinction risk. And wouldn't you know it: this confiscated shipment contained nearly a ton of illegal hammerhead fins.