Tuesday, January 14th marked the end of California's 60 day public comment period on proposed fracking regulations. Over the last two months Clean Water Action members and supporters have spoken, submitting thousands of comments calling for a halt to fracking in California. Residents across the state have turned out in record numbers to voice their concerns, packing public hearing rooms from Oakland to Santa Maria to Bakersfield to Long Beach to Sacramento to Long Beach. Clearly, the public has something to say about fracking, and clearly Californians don't want it happening in our state.
On Thursday, May 29, 2014 the California Senate failed to pass SB 1132 (Mitchell/Leno) which would have put a temporary moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and other forms of oil and gas well stimulation methods. The measure lost by a narrow margin, despite recent polling that 68% of Californians support a time out on fracking. Additionally, the federal government has recently downgraded the estimated amount of recoverable oil in the Monterey Shale by 96%, dispelling the myth that fracking will lead to an oil boom in California.
The people with the most to lose after the failure of SB 1132 are the communities of Kern County, where an estimated 80% of fracking and other oil drilling occurs in California. At least 22 different communities lie within 5 miles of oil and gas drilling in Kern County, including many directly adjacent to and surrounded by drilling operations, exposing thousands of residents to health threatening air pollution that has been linked to low birth weights, respiratory illness and cancer.
Although the Legislature failed to pass a moratorium, Governor Brown still has the authority to implement and immediate moratorium, an act that would be in line with the Democratic Party platform and the wishes of more than two thirds of Californians.
Clean Water Action is working to protect California from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acidizing and other risky methods of oil drilling. Across the country, communities are suffering from health and environmental impacts related to oil and gas production, including: contaminated drinking water and polluted air, degradation of local waterways, and decreased property values. In most states, fracking operations are designed to extract natural gas reserves. In California, it’s all about oil.
On Tuesday, June 3rd, California voters will go to the polls to select candidates for dozens of federal state and local offices. Because of California’s new primary laws, the two top vote-getters in each race, regardless of party affiliation, will face off against one another in November.
The following clean water champions deserve your vote on Tuesday.
Intense and growing pressure from Clean Water Action and others all across California have boosted the prospects for winning a moratorium this year on hydraulic fracturing (fracking, increasingly used for oil drilling), a top legislative priority for the past three years. The bill supported by Clean Water Action, SB1132 (Mitchell/Leno) would force a time-out while the state studies the risks. Concerns include groundwater contamination, greenhouse gas pollution, high volume water use, health-threatening air pollution and the potential for increased earthquake risk.
Another bill, SB1281 (Pavley) would protect
communities and their water resources from other oil and gas activities.
It would require oil drillers to disclose water use and increase
oversight of industry’s wastewater handling and disposal. Read More
You can help stop micro- plastic pollution in inland and coastal waters today! Take action here.
Your state legislators need to hear from you about two important bills. SB 270 (Padilla and DeLeon) will eliminate single use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores and AB 1699 (Bloom) will end the use of micro-plastic beads in facial scrubs and personal care products. Both plastic bags and micro-beads contribute to the increasing load of plastic pollution in inland and ocean waters throughout the world. This is your chance to help stop this pollution.
Learn more about what we're doing to stop plastic pollution here.
Our oceans are filling with plastic. And the problem is getting worse each year. In 1997, California researchers found six times more plastic than plankton on the surface of the North Pacific Gyre. Ten years later, when they repeated the study, the ratio of plastic to plankton was five times greater. Luckily there is something we can do about it - take action here.
Learn more about what we're doing about zeroa waste and plastic pollution.