For Immediate Release, February 4, 2014

Contact:  Patrick Sullivan, 415-517-9364,
Hillary Aidun, (415) 632-5335

Anti-fracking Protesters to Urge Federal Officials to Save California Public Land 

Sacramento Demonstrators Dressed as Fishermen, Hikers Urge Halt to Dangerous Drilling

SACRAMENTO— Dressed as hikers, fishermen and kayakers, activists with the Center for Biological Diversity and Californians Against Fracking will protest outside a public hearing on the risks of fracking on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 2001 Point W. Way, Sacramento.

The hearing, held by the federal Bureau of Land Management, aims to gather public input on the dangers of fracking on public lands in California. A Center lawsuit forced the BLM to halt oil lease sales in California last year and begin studying the environmental harms of fracking federal land in the state. A federal judge found that the BLM had not considered fracking’s risks before auctioning off thousands of acres of public land in central California to the oil industry.

“Fracking pollution could devastate California’s beautiful public lands and contaminate our air and water,” said the Center’s Hillary Aidun. “We want to make sure the BLM understands that oil industry fracking endangers Californians’ ability to enjoy our wilderness in sustainable ways. We need a permanent halt to the use of this toxic technique, which also threatens our state’s overtaxed water supply and endangered animals like the California condor.”

More than 10,000 letters have been sent urging the BLM to continue its moratorium on lease sales and halt fracking on California’s federal lands. The protesters are also calling for a statewide halt to the oil industry’s use of fracking, which involves blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock formations and release oil and gas.

While the BLM has suspended oil lease sales on public lands as it studies fracking’s harms, Gov. Jerry Brown is allowing fracking to continue in the state while his regulators review the toxic practice’s threats to California’s health and environment.

Fracking uses enormous quantities of water, and oil companies are gearing up for a massive expansion of fracking even as California’s water resources are stretched to the breaking point. Fracking also releases vast amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and loads the dice for more frequent and severe droughts.

Fracking pollution has also been tied to water contamination in Wyoming, Texas and other states, and here in California an oil company was recently caught on video dumping fracking wastewater into an unlined pit in Kern County. Fracking pollution also threatens California’s air and efforts to fight climate change.

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.

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