For Immediate Release, March 12, 2014
Boogie Board-carrying Activists Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking
Protest Highlights Recent Oil Fracking in Long Beach Harbor
LONG BEACH, Calif.— Wearing hazmat suits and carrying boogie boards, activists with the Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations will protest this morning in Long Beach to urge the California Coastal Commission to halt offshore fracking of oil wells in waters off California’s coast. The protest starts at 10 a.m. at the City of Long Beach Council Chambers, 333 West Ocean Blvd., Long Beach.
“Fracking is a dirty, dangerous practice that has absolutely no place in California’s fragile ocean ecosystems,” said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center’s oceans director. “The Coastal Commission has the power and the duty to protect surfers, swimmers and wildlife from fracking pollution and the increased risk of an oil spill. We need a halt to fracking to safeguard our beaches and our coastal communities.”
The Center wants the commission to prevent offshore fracking in state and federal waters.
Four offshore wells in Long Beach Harbor were fracked in December, according to oil industry documents. Oil companies have fracked at least 200 wells in waters off Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, as well as in federal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel. Fracking involves blasting massive amounts of water and industrial chemicals into the earth at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.
Because of the dangerously high pressures involved, fracking also increases the risk of a catastrophic accident like the 1969 oil spill that contaminated beaches from Santa Barbara to Ventura County.
Oil industry documents reveal that fracking in California waters has routinely employed chemicals that are suspected ecological hazards, as well as 2-Butoxyethanol and other cancer-causing substances. The chemical X-Cide, used in at least 12 recent offshore frack jobs in state waters, is classified as a hazardous substance by the federal agency that manages cleanup at Superfund sites.
Fracking is happening in state and federal waters with little government oversight. Fracking compounds the risks of conventional drilling by intensifying the activities, burdening aging infrastructure, and extending the life of oil production. The risks of oil spills, vessel traffic, discharges of toxic waste, and air pollution are substantially increased, as are greenhouse gas emissions and other dangers to the coastal environment.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.