New Poll Shows Californians Strongly Oppose Fracking
A majority of Californians oppose expanded fracking in the Golden State, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan research foundation. As oil companies gear up to frack massive petroleum deposits in the Monterey Shale, the poll also found that 65 percent of Californians say the state should act immediately to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The poll—the second this summer to find strong California opposition to fracking—puts new pressure on state lawmakers and regulators and Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking expansion in the state. A University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll in June found that more than half of California voters—58 percent—favor a moratorium on fracking.
“Californians are telling pollsters and policymakers they don't want fracking pollution fouling up our state,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. “There’s strong public support for a moratorium on this dangerous practice. We need to stop the oil industry’s fracking expansion now, while there’s still time to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate we depend on.”
Fracking employs huge volumes of water, mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, to blast open rock formations and extract oil and gas. The controversial technique—currently unregulated and unmonitored by California officials—has been used in hundreds and perhaps thousands of oil and gas wells across the state.
Oil companies are increasingly interested in fracking the Monterey Shale, an oil-laden geological formation beneath some of the state’s most productive farmland, important wildlife habitat and scores of towns and cities.
Fracking routinely uses numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol and benzene. A recent Colorado School of Public Health study found that fracking increases cancer risk and contributes to serious neurological and respiratory problems in people living near fracked wells.
Wildlife is also at risk. Fish can die when fracking fluid contaminates streams and rivers, birds can be poisoned by chemicals in wastewater ponds and the intense industrial development that accompanies fracking pushes threatened or endangered animals out of wild areas they need to survive.
Drilling and fracking also release huge amounts of methane, an extremely powerful global warming gas. Methane is about 105 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas over a 20-year period. Burning the estimated 15.5 billion barrels of oil in the Monterey Shale will generate more than 6.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to calculations based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.
- Could a Tax on International Travel Fund a Country's Response to ... ›
- Most People in the UK Back Limits on Flying to Tackle Climate Crisis ... ›
- To Fly or Not to Fly? The Environmental Cost of Air Travel - EcoWatch ›
Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.
- Drones Capture Stunning Footage of Humpback and Gray Whales ... ›
- Ninth Gray Whale in Two Months Washes Up Dead in Bay Area ... ›
- As Extreme Weather Events Increase, What Are the Risks to Wildlife? ›
- 'Existential Threat to Our Survival': See the 19 Australian ... ›
- Cyclone Harold Batters Fiji, Tonga Could Be Next - EcoWatch ›
- 2 Killed, Thousands Evacuated as Cyclone Yesa Slams Fiji ... ›
By Rishika Pardikar
Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.
Biden Refuses to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline, Despite Campaign Pledges on Tribal Relations and Climate
By Jessica Corbett
Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.
- After Court Rules Dakota Access Pipeline Operating Illegally, Dems ... ›
- Environmentalists Applaud Biden Selections of Granholm, McCarthy ... ›
- Biden Urged to 'Honor Indigenous Sovereignty and Immediately Halt ... ›