Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

California Senate Disappoints by Rejecting Fracking Moratorium

Fracking
California Senate Disappoints by Rejecting Fracking Moratorium

With fracking bans or moratoriums in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Cruz County, California seemed prepared to put a halt to the dirty energy practice across the state.

Not so fast.

The state Senate rejected a measure that would have placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and other forms of oil and gas development. According to the Sacramento Bee, opponents of Senate Bill (SB) 1132 believe that SB 4, approved last September, made the moratorium legislation a waste of time.

Of course, the environmental groups who deemed SB 4 a "half bill" would beg to differ.

Though cities and a county in California have passed fracking moratoriums or bans, the state did not hold up its end of the bargain. Photo credit: Californians Against Fracking

"The vote is disappointing but not completely unexpected, given that the oil industry has spent a whopping $15 million on lobbying activities to defeat the bill and buy influence in Sacramento," Californians Against Fracking said in a joint statement with 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, CREDO Action, Environment California, Food & Water Watch and Oil Change International.

"State lawmakers will continue to face growing concern about fracking pollution from voters in their communities. Californians Against Fracking calls on Governor Brown to protect California’s water, agriculture, public health and climate by declaring a moratorium on fracking now. If Governor Brown is serious about fighting climate change and its severe impacts, including droughts and fires, then he must show real leadership and stop the fracking now."

Two other organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, were particularly troubled by the vote since they conducted a poll of California residents, with more than two-thirds showing support for a moratorium. The support held up across political party lines, too, as moratorium-supporting Democrats, Republicans and Independents all outvoted opposers.

“Californians have made it clear they do not want to rush ahead recklessly on fracking," said Damon Nagami, a senior attorney for the NRDC. "Why risk the health of our children, contaminated drinking water, more air pollution, man-made earthquakes and further strained water supplies in the middle of an extreme drought? We need a time-out on fracking to give the state time to do its due diligence and ensure the health of our residents is not squandered to satisfy oil industry greed.”

State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) remained optimistic in a statement following the rejection.

“We have the momentum, this issue’s gone viral nationally, and it’s just a matter of time before the dangers of fracking prompt people to put it on pause until its safety can be established," she wrote. “When the impacts on the public of a for-profit endeavor are unknown, we try it out first in minority neighborhoods—assuming low vigilance and the need to bring in jobs makes safety irrelevant.

"But we’ve put big industry on notice: That ploy won’t fly forever. People’s neighborhoods aren’t fodder for fracking, environmental justice must come, and one day soon the vote to refrain from polluting for profit will prevail!”

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Santa Cruz Triumphs as First County in California to Ban Fracking

Hundreds of California Businesses Band Together in Face of Devastating Drought

Largest Anti-Fracking Rally in California History Draws Thousands

——–

A technician inspects a bitcoin mining operation at Bitfarms in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec on March 19, 2018. LARS HAGBERG / AFP via Getty Images

As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

OR-93 traveled hundreds of miles from Oregon to California. Austin Smith Jr. / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / California Department of Fish and Wildlife

An Oregon-born wolf named OR-93 has sparked conservation hopes with a historic journey into California.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant built along the Monongahela River, 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, was retired the following month. Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

By David Drake and Jeffrey York

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The Big Idea

People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.

Read More Show Less
LumiNola / E+ / Getty Images

By Gwen Ranniger

Fertility issues are on the rise, and new literature points to ways that your environment may be part of the problem. We've rounded up some changes you can make in your life to promote a healthy reproductive system.

Read More Show Less
Seattle-based Community Loaves uses home bakers to help those facing food insecurity during the pandemic. Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images

By Lynn Freehill-Maye

The irony hit Katherine Kehrli, the associate dean of Seattle Culinary Academy, when one of the COVID-19 pandemic's successive waves of closures flattened restaurants: Many of her culinary students were themselves food insecure. She saw cooks, bakers, and chefs-in-training lose the often-multiple jobs that they needed simply to eat.

Read More Show Less