Environment California and Other Grassroots Groups Lobby Los Angeles City Council to Place a Moratorium on Fracking in Within City Limits

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New city ordinance gives support to state wide efforts

Environment California

Sacramento—The Los Angeles City Council has just voted to approve and ordinance to place a moratorium on fracking within Los Angeles’ city limits. The ordinance authored by Councilmember Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin passed unanimously.

“Fracking is a dirty and dangerous form of oil and gas drilling,” said Dan Jacobson, legislative director for Environment California. “Governor Brown should follow the lead of Los Angeles, the state’s largest city, and protect our health and environment by putting the brakes on fracking statewide.”

Environment California and other activists called the measure “urgently needed” as dirty drilling has already begun to take its toll in the greater Los Angeles Area. The group pointed to the experiences of other states.

“Once a fracking boom starts, the result is a wave of damages to the state’s environment and public health,” continued Jacobson. “Across the country, fracking is contaminating drinking water, making nearby families sick with air pollution, and turning forest acres into industrial zones.”

According to an Environment California report, “Fracking by the Numbers,” there have already been more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination from fracking operations—from toxic wastewater, well blowouts, chemical spills, and more. Fracking also uses millions of gallons of water. Environment California says that’s water we just can’t spare in California.

Families living on the frontlines of fracking have suffered nausea, headaches, rashes, dizziness and other illnesses. Some doctors are calling these reported incidents “the tip of the iceberg.” (Read our recent report on health impacts by clicking here.)

In Sacramento, Sens. Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno have introduced legislation to place a moratorium on fracking statewide (SB 1132). The bill was defeated last year.

New information about fracking, including the dangers of global warming pollution like methane have emerged, which puts the state in a strange position considering the state’s commitment to tackle global warming. Water contamination and water use are a grave concern in light of the California drought. And illnesses from nearby residents have created the opportunity for the legislature to reconsider this issue.

In states where governors are failing to take a stand against dirty drilling—including Texas and Colorado—local cities and towns are forced to take matters into their own hands. Dallas, Boulder, and Fort Collins, Colo., are examples of cities and town that have tacken action against fracking.

 “We applaud the City Council for their leadership in the national fight to ban fracking,” concluded Jacobson. “Now the rest of our elected officials need move to ban fracking.”