SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
Indybay About Contact Newsletter Calendar Publish Community

Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections | Front Page

Sat Apr 12 2014 (Updated 04/22/14) Community Members Hope to Be First "Frontline" County in California to Ban Fracking
San Benito County Residents Halfway to Signature Goal for Fracking Ban Ballot Initiative Community members in San Benito are hoping they will be the first "frontline" county in California to ban fracking and other methods of extreme oil and gas extraction. Since late March, volunteers across the county have begun collecting signatures for a fracking ban initiative they hope to have on the ballot in November. Progress is moving quickly; after two weeks of collecting signatures, the organization San Benito Rising announced they were nearly halfway through their drive.

Members of San Benito Rising filed the notice of intent to circulate the petition with the county clerk in late February. That notice states that they have begun the process in hopes of "protecting the county’s groundwater supplies and preserving its rural heritage." They believe the county is at a "tipping point" and hope the fracking ban will prevent the possibility of what they call a "proliferation of proposals" to conduct hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and other high-intensity petroleum operations in the county’s unincorporated areas. The initiative to ban fracking, if passed by voters, will prohibit the use of any land within the county’s unincorporated area for fracking and other high-intensity petroleum operations. The initiative will also prohibit the use of land for any petroleum operations within the county’s unincorporated residential areas.

Residents consider San Benito to be a "frontline" community because they currently have oil and gas drilling in their county, which sits on top of the Monterey Shale formation. In the county there are many dry or abandoned oil wells near San Juan Bautista, and near Hollister there are active wells, in addition to many that are dry or abandoned. In 2013, environmentalists began fighting a proposal to bring oil operations in endangered Condor habitat near Pinnacles National Park. San Benito Rising is concerned that the oil and gas industry could re-stimulate the abandoned, old wells in their area using new extreme drilling techniques such as cyclic steam injection, acid fracking, and acid matrix stimulation.

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos | Update (4/22): San Benito Residents Reach Fracking Ban Signature Goal | San Benito Rising

Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Lawsuit Targets San Benito County's Approval of 15 Oil Wells in Endangered Condor Habitat

12/11/14 Anti-Police Protests in Berkeley Swell Following Eric Garner Grand Jury Announcement   Police State and Prisons
12/11/14 Students and Community Members Pledge to Act Against UC Tuition Hikes   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
12/11/14 Santa Cruz Police Attempt to Sneak $250K 'Rescue Vehicle' Past Public   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
12/02/14 Mayfair Community Unites Around Issues of Health, Education, Labor, Food Safety   Health, Housing, and Public Services | South Bay
11/30/14 First Independent Media Center Kicked Off on N30 at Seattle WTO Protests in 1999   Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | International
11/30/14 Protests & Disruptions Erupt Nationwide After No Charges in Ferguson Grand Jury Verdict   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
11/21/14 Students Protest Tuition Increases, Class Size, Fewer Classes, Cuts to Services   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/18/14 Indybay Journalist Assaulted by Leon Panetta's Security; Protesters Banned from Bookstore   Anti-War | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/18/14 Santa Cruz Biotechnology Charged Again with Violating Animal Welfare Act   Animal Liberation | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/14/14 Rasmea Odeh Conviction Protested Across U.S. by Supporters and Human Rights Activists   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Palestine | Immigrant Rights
11/13/14 Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs Shares in Solidarity with Those Being Arrested in Florida   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia