Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Three Fracking Moratorium Bills Win Key Vote in California Legislature

Climate
Three Fracking Moratorium Bills Win Key Vote in California Legislature

Center for Biological Diversity Food & Water Watch Clean Water Action

Three bills that would halt fracking in California won key votes Monday night, passing the Assembly Natural Resources Committee despite intense pressure from the oil industry. Richard Bloom’s A.B. 1301, Holly Mitchell’s A.B. 1323 and Adrin Nazarian’s A.B. 649 would place a moratorium on fracking while threats posed by the controversial practice to California’s environment and public health are studied.

Concerned residents rally outside a California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources Workshop at Culver City's City Hall on June 12, 2012.

Oil and gas wells have been fracked in at least nine California counties without fracking-specific regulation or even monitoring by state oil and gas officials. Fracking employs huge volumes of water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals—including known carcinogens—to blast open rock formations and release previously inaccessible fossil fuels.

A.B. 1301—sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch and Clean Water Action—is supported by the California Nurses Association, Breast Cancer Action, Family Farm Defenders and more than 100 other health, labor, environmental and social justice organizations. A.B. 649, A.B. 1301 and A.B. 1323 will next go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“This is a huge win for Californians threatened by fracking pollution,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. “These bills will protect the air we breathe and the water we drink from cancer-causing chemicals and other fracking pollutants. That’s why a fracking moratorium is supported by nurses, farmers and so many others concerned about our state’s health and environment.”

Activists gather at the Global Frackdown rally in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Sept. 22, 2012.

Fracking is linked to air and water pollution and releases large amounts of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas. About 25 percent of fracking chemicals could cause cancer, according to scientists with the Endocrine Disruption Exchange.

“The Natural Resources Committee sided with the people of California today when it voted to advance legislation that places a moratorium on fracking,” said Kristin Lynch, Pacific region director for Food & Water Watch. “From the food that California farmers grow today to the long-term future of our state’s water resources and air, California’s economy and vital resources hang in the balance if we allow fracking to continue in California.”

The huge volume of water used and contaminated by fracking is a critical issue for drought-ridden states like California. A new report from the Western Organization of Resource Councils estimates that fracking consumes about 7 billion gallons of water in four western states where fracking has become widespread. The report, Gone for Good, warns that water consumption by the oil and gas industry “simply cannot be sustained.”


“This vote is an important step in the effort to protect California from the dangers of fracking,” said Andrew Grinberg of Clean Water Action. “This committee gets it that the state needs to slow down and assess the many threats to our air, water, climate and communities of extreme oil extraction.”

Fracking also pollutes the air by releasing dangerous petroleum hydrocarbons, including benzene, toluene and xylene. It can also increase levels of ground-level ozone, a key risk factor for asthma and other respiratory illness. Air pollution caused by fracking contributes to the risk of asthma, cancer and other health problems in people living near fracked wells, according to a Colorado School of Public Health study.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Sign the petition today, telling President Obama to enact an immediate fracking moratorium:

 

A group of climate activists that have been cycling from the North of the country in stages to draw attention to the climate case are arriving to the Court of Justice on the day that the climate lawsuit against Shell starts in The Hague, on December 1st, 2020. Romy Arroyo Fernandez / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Representing more than 17,000 claimants who support climate action, the international organization Friends of the Earth on Tuesday opened its case against fossil fuel giant Shell at The Hague by demanding that a judge order the corporation to significantly reduce its carbon emissions in the next decade.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Eat Just, Inc. announced that its cultured chicken has been approved for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. The company has developed other cultured chicken formats as well. Eat Just

As concern mounts over the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, Singapore has issued the world's first regulatory approval for lab-grown meat.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Wildfires are seen burning out of control on November 30, 2020 on Fraser Island, Australia. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services / Getty Images

The world's largest sand island has been on fire for the past six weeks due to a campfire, and Australia's firefighters have yet to prevent flames from destroying the fragile ecosystem.

Read More Show Less
A plane sprays pesticide over the Wynwood neighborhood in the hope of controlling and reducing the number of mosquitos, some of which may be capable of spreading the Zika virus on Aug. 6, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A national nonprofit revealed Tuesday that testing commissioned by the group as well as separate analysis conducted by Massachusetts officials show samples of an aerially sprayed pesticide used by the commonwealth and at least 25 other states to control mosquito-borne illnesses contain toxic substances that critics call "forever chemicals."

Read More Show Less
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plants a tree as part of Trees That Count, a project to help New Zealand make a positive impact on climate change, on June 30, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

The government of New Zealand declared a climate emergency on Wednesday, a symbolic step recognizing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions of substantial global warming if emissions do not fall.

Read More Show Less