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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | San Francisco | Environment & Forest Defense
San Francisco Supervisors Urge Halt to Fracking in California
SAN FRANCISCO— The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on December 14 approved a measure urging a halt to hydraulic fracturing in California because of fracking’s threats to the state’s air, water and efforts to fight dangerous climate change.
The resolution, which was introduced by Supervisor David Chiu and passed unanimously, was applauded by 350 Bay Area, Center for Biological Diversity, CREDO, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and other members of Californians Against Fracking, a statewide coalition working to ban fracking, an inherently harmful form of oil and gas extraction that endangers California’s air, water, wildlife, climate and public health.
“We are deeply concerned about the threats fracking poses to California’s water, our coastal environment, and the well-being of people across the state, so the Board of Supervisors is urging a halt to this practice,” said Supervisor Chiu. “As California studies the risks of dangerous forms of oil and gas production, it would be wise to follow New York’s lead and halt fracking.”
“We congratulate Supervisor Chiu and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for taking a stand against fracking pollution’s threat to California,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This resolution sends a strong message to Governor Brown that we need an immediate halt to this inherently dangerous practice, which could undermine California’s fight against climate change and do irreparable damage to the air we breathe and the water we drink.”
San Francisco’s resolution follows an Associated Press investigation that confirmed cases of water contamination from oil and gas drilling in four other states where fracking has boomed. Other local jurisdictions in California have weighed in on the issue of fracking, calling for greater regulation, bans or moratoriums, including Marin County, Santa Cruz County, Ventura County and Santa Barbara County.
“The oil industry and their allies in Sacramento would like us to believe that weak regulations can protect California from the dangers of fracking but we know that the only safe path is to halt this risky practice all together,” said Ross Hammond of Friends of the Earth. “The San Francisco Board of Supervisors should be applauded for standing up and doing the right thing.”
Fracking uses huge volumes of water mixed with dangerous chemicals to blast open rock formations and release oil and gas. Fracking releases large amounts of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas.
The controversial technique has been used in hundreds and perhaps thousands of California oil and gas wells without regulation. Rules recently proposed by state officials would do little to safeguard California’s air, water, wildlife and public health from the pollution generated by this inherently dangerous technique.
Oil companies are gearing up to frack large reservoirs of unconventional shale oil in the Monterey Shale. The area is home to some of the state’s most productive farmland, critical water sources, important wildlife habitat and dozens of towns and cities from the Salinas Valley to the Los Angeles Basin.
Californians Against Fracking is a coalition of more than 150 environmental, consumer, business, faith, health, agriculture, labor, political, and environmental justice organizations working to win a statewide ban on fracking in California. For more information, visit: http://www.CaliforniansAgainstFracking.org