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San Benito Residents Reach Fracking Ban Signature Goal
Today on Earth Day, April 22, members of San Benito Rising will submit nearly 4,000 petition signatures to the San Benito County elections office in order to qualify a local initiative to ban fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods for the November 2014 ballot.
Since March 21, San Benito residents have been collecting signatures to ban fracking in their county, and volunteers secured twice the number required to qualify the initiative in less than two weeks.
The five original proponents of the initiative will deliver the signatures this afternoon in Hollister using Native American baskets. This will be preceded by a short Earth Day ceremony lead by Ann Marie Sayers, a local Ohlone tribal leader, and one of the original proponents of the initiative.
San Benito Rising has organized the local ban on fracking in order to "protect local groundwater, residents’ health, agriculture and tourism," the group stated in a press release. The initiative, if approved by voters, will also ban oil and gas development in the rural residential zones of the county. Opponents of fracking in San Benito County now include a growing coalition of vintners, ranchers, farmers, teachers and small business owners.
Once the signatures are submitted, the County Elections Office is required to count them within 30 business days, and certify the results to the Board of Supervisors.
For more information about San Benito Rising, see: