Beverly Hills will be the first municipality in California to prohibit fracking after its city council passed a measure banning it together will other extreme oil and natural-gas extraction methods such as acidization.
“I do believe in local control, and we are exerting our power as a city to say fracking is not a compatible land use in Beverly Hills,” said councilmember John Mirsch. He added that the law will take effect immediately the council votes for the second time in the next meeting.
Fracking, or technically hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial method that involves blasting a mixture of sand, chemicals and water into the shale rocks to release trapped oil and natural gas.
Brenna Norton, an organizer with the advocacy organization Food and Water Watch Southern California chapter, told Huffington Post that so far, no fracking or such related activities have been reported in the area.
“This is not a not in my backyard issue. It should not be in anyone’s back yard,” Mirsch added. “And we also need to think long-term, even if our city is not a center of drilling — injecting millions of gallons of water and chemicals at high pressure into the earth can’t be good.”
Los Angeles is one of the other cities in California that are in the process of enacting laws to ban fracking. Most anti-fracking activists, most of whom attended the Tuesday meeting, argue that there is no safe method for fracking and that the technique should be outlawed.
Nonetheless, the California Department of Conservation insists that “hydraulic fracturing has been used as a well stimulation technique for over 30 years with no reported environmental damage.”
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