Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, August 11, 2014

Contact:  Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,
Ash Lauth, (847) 340-4570 (onsite cell)

Hazmat-suit Wearing Protesters to Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking

San Diego Demonstration Highlights Dumping of Fracking Chemicals Into Ocean

SAN DIEGO— As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with the Center for Biological Diversity will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s oceans and wildlife. The protest starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday outside the meeting at the Catamaran Resort, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego.

Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean. Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.

“Every offshore frack job increases the toxic threat to California’s fragile ocean ecosystems,” said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center’s oceans program director. “The Coastal Commission must protect our beautiful beaches and marine wildlife from dangerous fracking chemicals and the increased oil spill risk that comes from using this controversial technology in offshore wells.”  

What: Protest against offshore fracking outside California Coastal Commission meeting in San Diego.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m.

Where: Outside Coastal Commission meeting at the Catamaran Resort, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego.

Oil companies have fracked hundreds of wells off California’s coast, and about half the oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel discharge wastewater into the sea. The oil industry has federal permission to annually dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including fracking fluid, directly into the ocean off California’s coast.

Because of the dangerously high pressures involved, fracking also increases the risk of a catastrophic accident like the 1969 oil spill that contaminated the shoreline from Santa Barbara to Silver Strand Beach in San Diego. 

A recent Center analysis of 12 frack jobs in California waters found that at least one-third of chemicals used in these fracking operations are suspected ecological hazards. Drawing on data disclosed by oil companies, the Center also found that more than a third of these chemicals are suspected of affecting human developmental and nervous systems.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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