A Californian county became the first in the state to ban fracking as local authorities in the state increasingly make their opinion known regarding the controversial shale fuel extraction method.
Though Santa Cruz County has no known oil or natural gas drilling activity, fracking opponents said the decision to ban the practice was informed by reports that energy firms were considering fracking the nearby San Benito County, reported Reuters.
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a method of extracting oil or gas trapped in underground shale formations by blasting a mixture of sand, chemicals and water in order to release the fuel. The technique has attracted the wrath of environmentalists who argue that the chemicals used in the process pollute the groundwater sources.
The moratorium is also meant to push California Governor Jerry Brown to also ban fracking in the whole state, an action he has been adamant to take. Brown insists that fracking is good because it frees the state from crude oil imports.
“While Governor Brown refuses to protect our health and environment from fracking risks, local communities across the state are moving forward with measures to fight oil industry pollution,” said Rose Braz of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The move to ban fracking in Santa Cruz County follows a similar decision by Beverly Hills City to ban fracking, a decision that made it the first Californian municipality to do so. Culver City and Los Angeles are reportedly mulling bans on fracking.
Deep under California lies the Monterey Shale formation, which is believed to hold about 15 billion barrels of oil, states the U.S. Energy Information Administration. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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