Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 15, 2016

Contact:  Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,
Kristen Monsell (in Camarillo), (914) 806-3467,

Protest Aims to Shield California From Offshore Fracking Under President Trump

CAMARILLO, Calif.— An oil company’s proposal to conduct California’s first offshore frack in almost two years is the target of a protest this morning outside the federal offshore oil regulators’ building in Camarillo.

Today’s rally starts at 11 a.m. outside the offices of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement at 760 Paseo Camarillo.

The oil company DCOR, LLC hopes to frack an offshore well in the Santa Barbara Channel. The company would be allowed to discharge chemical-laden fracking flowback fluid into the ocean.

Fearing a vast expansion of coastal drilling and fracking under the Trump administration, conservationists and Chumash Native Americans are urging federal officials to deny the permit application and reestablish the offshore fracking moratorium that was lifted in May.

The event is organized by the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Santa Barbara Sierra Club, Wishtoyo Foundation, Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) and SoCal 350 Climate Action.

“Donald Trump could unleash a devastating new wave of offshore fracking and drilling along the California coast,” said Kristen Monsell of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Oil spills and toxic fracking chemicals could wreak heartbreaking havoc on our beautiful marine environment. President Obama must use his last month in office to protect our beaches and wildlife by halting fracking and new drilling in our ocean.”

“It’s outrageous that the federal government allows oil companies to dump their wastewater in the ocean, a practice against the law in California state waters,” said Katie Davis, chair of the Santa Barbara Sierra Club. “The wastewater contains benzene, arsenic, mercury, lead and other contaminants. This application to frack offshore in the Santa Barbara Channel should be denied.” 

Offshore fracking blasts vast volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals beneath the seafloor at pressures high enough to fracture rocks. The high pressures used in offshore fracking increase the risk of well failure and oil spills.

Oil companies have federal permission to dump up to 9 billion gallons of waste fluid, including fracking chemicals, into the ocean off the California coast annually. The California Council on Science and Technology has identified some common fracking chemicals to be among the most toxic in the world to marine animals.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and other federal lawmakers recently sent a letter urging President Obama to permanently protect the West Coast from new offshore oil and gas leasing. That request has been echoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the California Coastal Commission and dozens of California state senators.

Offshore fracking
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Doc Searls. This image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

More press releases