Beverly Hills city council unanimously voted on Tuesday to prohibit fracking, making it the first Californian municipality to do so.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial method of oil and natural gas extraction that involves blasting a mixture of chemicals, fine sand and water deep into the shale rocks to release the trapped fossil fuel. The technique has drawn the ire of environmentalists who argue it pollutes groundwater supplies, triggers earthquakes and emits greenhouse gases.
The measure was approved after it was earlier given the go-ahead by a panel in April. The ban will be implemented starting June 6. There are no drilling activities in Beverly Hills, though oil drilling has always taken place at Beverly Hills High School. However, the city council voted in 2011 to end the activity by 2016.
“The move to ban fracking was done in a similar spirit,” city spokeswoman Therese Kosterman told Reuters.”It’s just the sense that industrial processes such as mining and oil drilling really are not appropriate in Beverly Hills.”
Kosterman said that no energy firm has so far tabled any proposal to carry out fracking in Beverly Hills, and that the method is already used in wells in other parts of Los Angeles County. The decision to ban fracking comes soon after California lawmakers approved the state’s first rules on fracking. Under the rules, energy firms must apply for fracking permits, alongside with acidizing, a method that involves the use of chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid to break open underground rocks.
Officials in Los Angeles are considering the possibility of banning fracking, making it the only other Californian city to do so other than Beverly Hills. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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