Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 12, 2014

Contact: Miyoko Sakashita, (415) 436-9682 x 308,  

30,000 People Urge California's Gov. Brown to Halt Offshore Fracking

Petition Asks Governor to Protect Coastal Treasures From Fracking Pollution 

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Citing fracking pollution’s threats to coastal communities and marine wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity today delivered a petition signed by more than 30,000 people urging Gov. Jerry Brown to halt offshore fracking in California’s coastal waters.

“California’s coast is a natural treasure, upon which millions of people and animals depend. But now oil companies are threatening entire ecosystems by intensifying drilling with toxic fracking techniques,” the petition says. It urges Brown to “act now to halt this dangerous practice and preserve our oceans for future generations.”

“Thousands of people are urging Gov. Brown to stop offshore fracking before dangerous chemicals or an oil spill inflict catastrophic damage,” said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center’s Oceans director. “Fracking offshore and onshore poses a toxic threat to our air, water and wildlife. The governor can end fracking in California and reject oil development plans that would frack federal waters off our coast.”

The Center wants Brown to halt offshore fracking in state waters under the Emergency Service Act, which authorizes the governor to impose a broad array of measures to protect the health and safety of state residents. Federal law also gives governors a special say in offshore oil and gas decisions that Brown could use to fight fracking in federal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Oil companies have fracked hundreds of wells off California’s coast, and the oil industry has federal permission to annually dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including chemical-laden fracking fluid, directly into the ocean off California’s coast.

The California Coastal Commission, meeting this week in Half Moon Bay, has struggled to determine the full extent of offshore fracking, which involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the seafloor at pressures high enough to crack rocks and release oil and gas.

In conjunction with the Coastal Commission meeting, the Center and Sierra Club California are holding a public presentation today called “Fracking California’s Coastal Zone and Ocean Waters.” The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Coastside Senior Housing Adult Community Center, 925 Main St., in Half Moon Bay.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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