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Fri Aug 9 2013 (Updated 08/21/13) Environmentalist Say Oil Leasing and Development Most Likely Stalled by Fracking Studies
Federal Agency Launches Review of Fracking Risk on California Public Lands The federal government announced on August 2 the start of two new analyses of fracking risks to California public lands. The Bureau of Land Management will begin developing a new “environmental impact statement” for fracking in Central California, along with a statewide independent scientific assessment of the dangerous oil extraction process. Completion of the environmental impact statement and scientific review are likely to take more than a year. It is unlikely that further oil leasing and development activities can occur in the areas covered by the impact statement until its completion.

The Bureau’s impact study will address the impacts of fracking in the region managed by the agency’s Hollister field office, which encompasses 280,000 acres of public lands and 440,000 acres of split-estate lands in Central California, including areas subject to leasing in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties. The independent scientific review will analyze the scope and impacts of fracking statewide.

Fracking has been tied to water and air pollution in other states, and the process can release huge quantities of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas. Increased fracking threatens to unlock vast reserves of previously inaccessible fossil fuel deposits that would contribute to global warming and bring us closer to climate disaster. “The BLM's decision to conduct a full EIS on fracking and drilling in the Monterey shale is a good first step toward understanding how destructive the process can be, and to what extent it pollutes our air and water,” said Nathan Matthews, associate attorney with the Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program.

Read More | See Also: Californians Oppose Expanded Fracking | Distant Quakes Trigger Tremors at U.S. Waste-Injection Sites, Says Study

Previous Coverage: Opponents of Fracking in California Win Court Victory || New California Water Grab for Fracking and Agribusiness

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