ANAHEIM, Calif.— More than 100 mayors, city council members and other local officials from dozens of communities want Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking to protect California’s water supply from contamination during a devastating drought.
In a letter being unveiled today at a press conference at the Democratic State Convention in Anaheim, officials warn Gov. Brown that fracking and other dangerous oil production techniques “will exacerbate many of our environmental threats, particularly local air and water pollution and climate disruption.”
“Fracking pollution threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink, and Latino communities are especially at risk,” said Robert Rivas, San Benito County supervisor and supporter of San Benito County’s new fracking ban. “Thousands of Latino children in California go to school near fracked oil wells. We need Gov. Brown to halt fracking to give every child in California a better chance at a healthy life.”
Joining Supervisor Rivas at today’s press conference are Jose Gurrola, Arvin city council member; Eduardo Martinez, Richmond city council member; and Elliot Gonzales, Long Beach sustainability commissioner.
The officials’ letter, which highlights fracking pollution’s threats to California’s water during a devastating drought, comes after state regulators admitted allowing the oil industry to dump billions of gallons of oil waste into protected underground water supplies across the state, from Monterey to Kern and Los Angeles counties.
About half of all new wells in California are fracked, according to the California Council on Science and Technology. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the dangerous process of blasting enormous quantities of water laced with toxic chemicals into the ground to release oil and gas. It has been linked to air and water pollution across the country.
Fracking in California has generated vast volumes of wastewater that contains high levels of cancer-causing benzene and other dangerous chemicals, according to oil companies’ own tests. Toxic oil waste fluid is also being dumped into unlined pits and used to irrigate crops in the Central Valley.
Citing the need to protect communities and public health, the letter urges Gov. Brown to put a moratorium on fracking pending further study of air and water pollution and the damage to the climate caused by the controversial technique.
Californians Against Fracking is a coalition of about 200 environmental business, health, agriculture, labor, political and environmental justice organizations working to win a statewide ban on fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques in California. Follow @CAagainstFrack on Twitter.