Contaminated water. Greenhouse gas pollution. Dead wildlife. And grave threats to public health.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing — and the industrial development that comes with it — have left a grim trail of damage across America. This damaging oil and gas–drilling technique involves injecting millions of gallons of highly pressurized water, sand and toxic chemicals deep into the earth.
Now fracking has become a major issue in the Golden State. But Californians still have time to safeguard their water, air, wildlife and health from this dangerous and poorly regulated form of oil and gas production.
California officials must move quickly to address this dangerous practice. To protect our health and future, fracking should be banned in California.
Fracking is already taking place in at least nine California counties, and rising oil prices are sparking interest in doing it on other sites atop the Monterey Shale, a geological formation that holds an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil.
Fracking routinely employs numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene, naphthalene and trimethylbenzene. It can also expose people to harm from lead, arsenic and radioactivity that are brought back to the surface with fracking flowback fluid. It also requires an enormous amount of water — a single horizontal well can use more than 5 million gallons. Water-contamination problems associated with fracking have been documented in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming.
Wildlife is also at risk. In California, the pollution and development associated with fracking threaten endangered species like the California condor, San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard.
Originally published by the Center for Biological Diversity