Letter: Moratorium on fracking in California

Repost from The Los Angeles Times, PolitiCal
[Editor: Note that Benicians For a Safe and Healthy Community is among the more than 100 environmental and community groups signing on to this letter.  – RS]

Groups pressure Legislature to back California fracking moratorium

Patrick McGreevy  |  May 22, 2014

More than 100 environmental and community groups Thursday sent a letter to the California Legislature urging lawmakers to support a moratorium on the oil-production method of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in California.

Led by the national progressive group CREDO, the coalition is supporting SB 1132 by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), which is pending in the Senate and would halt fracking to allow more studies to determine whether the method poses health hazards.

“This bill presents lawmakers with a clear-cut choice that will show whether they are on the side of oil industry lobbyists or Californians concerned about public health and safety,” said Zack Malitz, the campaign manager for CREDO. “It’s clear from the broad support across California that residents know a moratorium is the right path to protect our communities from the well-documented dangers of fracking.”

Groups that signed on to the letter include the Burbank Green Alliance, the California League of United Latin  American  Citizens, the California  League  of  Conservation  Voters, the Center  for  Biological  Diversity, and the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment.

“Given  these  techniques’  long-term  consequence  and  known  harmful  impacts  elsewhere,  it  is  entirely  appropriate  for  California  to  impose  a  moratorium  on  fracking,  acidizing  and  all  well stimulation  while  the  state  reviews  the  current  and  future  effects  here,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, a new statewide poll found that 68% of Californians support a fracking moratorium until the practice can be studied more, and that a majority would be more likely to vote for a legislator who voted in favor of such a measure.

“This poll shows that most Californians have heard about fracking, and they don’t want it to create the same problems here that it has caused in other states,” said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California. The group commissioned the poll from the firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.