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Media Advisory, June 7, 2013

Contacts: Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,  

Conservationists, Oil Industry Debate Fracking Pollution at California Science Center

Discussion Comes as New Poll Finds Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Fracking

LOS ANGELES— A fracking expert from the Center for Biological Diversity will join other conservationists and oil industry representatives at a California Science Center event on Saturday, June 8, to discuss the risks fracking pollution poses to the state’s environment and public health. 

Kassie Siegel, director of the Center’s Climate Law Institute, will discuss threats to California’s air and water from drilling and fracking, as well as the earthquake risks associated with fracking activities. A poll just conducted by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times found that more than 70 percent of California voters favor banning or heavily regulating fracking, a controversial process that involves blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to release oil and gas.

What: “Fracking: Energy Solution or Environmental Problem?” at the California Science Center’s Science Matters, a speakers program that explores science issues in the forefront of public concern.

When: Saturday, June 8, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Loker Conference Center at the California Science Center.

Who: Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, will discuss fracking with Gary Gless, President, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community; Sydney Kamlager, District Director, Office of Assembly Member Holly J. Mitchell 54th District; and others.

Background: Fracking is a highly polluting form of oil and gas extraction that involves blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the earth to break up rock formations. The controversial technique — currently unregulated and unmonitored by California officials — has been used in hundreds and perhaps thousands of oil and gas wells across the state. Fracking has been tied to air and water pollution; it also threatens the climate by releasing large amounts of methane and making it possible to extract huge, previously inaccessible reservoirs of oil.

Oil companies are gearing up to frack for shale oil in the Monterey Shale, a formation beneath some of the state’s most productive farmland, critical water sources, and dozens of towns and cities from the Salinas Valley to the Los Angeles Basin.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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