Sacramento—A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that 51 percent of Californians oppose the increased use of fracking in the state, the controversial drilling method used to extract oil and gas.
“Unfortunately most of our elected officials continue to take no action when it comes to fracking in California,” said Dan Jacobson, legislative director for Environment California. “Elected officials who think we can frack safely by just passing regulations are just out of touch with the dangers of fracking.”
Fracking wells consume millions of gallons of water—a scarce resource our state can’t spare—and contaminates this water with a number of toxic chemicals, including known carcinogens such as benzene.
Leaks, spills, and unsafe disposal of this water can contaminate drinking water supplies, farmlands, and local waterways, endangering our health, the food supply, and local wildlife. And, as seen in other part of the country, fracking turns pristine wilderness areas into industrial sites full of roads, drilling rigs, and waste pits.
Emissions from fracking, including methane, air toxins, and smog-forming pollutants, also lead to more bad-air days, respiratory illness, and even cancer. Emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases will exacerbate global warming and set back the state’s efforts to rein in our carbon emissions. Moreover, fracking has been linked to increases in earthquakes in the Midwest, and much of the Monterey Shale lies right over the San Andreas Fault.
To date, California officials aren’t regulating or even monitoring where fracking is happening, much less its impacts on our environment. Since fracking is exempt from many federal regulations, it is up to state agencies to protect local communities from this dangerous practice, and so far, the California Legislature has shown no interest in doing so—despite the concerns of the majority of Californians when it comes to fracking.
“The best thing we can do right now is ban fracking in California before it becomes an environmental nightmare,” said Jacobson. “I wholeheartedly thank our political allies that have been supporting a ban on fracking. The rest of our elected officials should now take note of what the public supports—a ban on fracking.”
For more information and to sign a petition to Gov. Jerry Brown asking him to ban fracking in California go to: www.EnvironmentCalifornia.org
Environment California is a non-profit, environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open space.