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Santa Cruz County First to Ban Fracking in California
Santa Cruz, Calif. — The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 today to prohibit fracking and oil and gas development in Santa Cruz County. Food & Water Watch, 350.org, Environment California, Center for Biological Diversity, Californians Against Fracking, Santa Cruz Sierra Club, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and UC Santa Cruz students rallied with Supervisor John Leopold after the vote to celebrate the victory.
“We congratulate the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors for their historic vote towards protecting California’s air and water, and for setting a positive example for other counties and Governor Brown,” said Adam Scow, California Director of Food & Water Watch.
The Board voted last September to enact a 10-month moratorium on fracking and all oil and gas drilling and today’s vote makes the prohibition permanent. Supervisor John Leopold has led the charge since the Board first directed the county planning department to review well stimulation techniques in February 2013.
“Santa Cruz is the first county to ban fracking in California, but it certainly won’t be the last,” said Rose Braz, Climate Campaign Director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “While Governor Brown refuses to protect our health and environment from fracking risks, local communities across the state are moving forward with measures to fight oil industry pollution.”
While Santa Cruz is the first county in California to prohibit fracking, several counties across the state are pursuing their own bans or moratoria, including Butte, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Benito and Orange. Additionally, many cities across California have moved to stop fracking; Beverly Hills recently became the first city to ban fracking, and Los Angeles and Culver City are looking to do the same.
May 20, 2014