The recent release of an independent, state-funded study on fracking shows that our long-standing concerns about the risks are justified. This latest revelation comes on the heels of months of scandal involving oil companies and the state agencies that are supposed to regulate them but, by their own admission, have failed to protect Californians' health and safety.
Californians have heard a lot about fracking over the past few years. Our concerns have only grown into outrage as more evidence of its risks to our communities, our water, our health and safety has come to light.
Until recently, oil companies were able to withhold the hard scientific data that's so essential to building a persuasive case for lawmakers to change the law and protect their constituents. That's all over now.
A new law (SB 4) that took effect last year required the State of California to fund an independent, study on well stimulation techniques (including fracking) and their environmental impacts. This month, that report was delivered to state officials, and the findings reveal that our concerns are justified: current fracking practices pose serious risks to the health of California families, most significantly in the form of groundwater contamination that occurs in the wastewater disposal steps of the operations.
Here's an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times story on the report:
Hydraulic fracturing uses a host of highly toxic chemicals — the impacts of which are for the most part unknown — that could be contaminating drinking water supplies, wildlife and crops, according to a report released Thursday by a California science panel… Jane Long, the report's co-lead, said officials should fully understand the toxicity and environmental profiles of all chemicals before allowing them to be used in California's oil operations.
Given the findings of this study – not to mention all of the mismanagement and scandal that has come to light this year – Governor Brown and the state legislature have a clear and present opportunity to take bold action that will protect California communities and ecosystems.
This is a game-changing moment to ask Governor Brown: Will you keep us safe? Sign the petition: Tell Gov. Jerry Brown to stop fracking and extreme oil extraction in California NOW!
For decades, the oil industry has been fracking in California with very little oversight, but this is the first time there's ever been independent investigation into these operations. Until now, oil companies been able to stick regular folks like you and me with the burden of proving that the risks of fracking even exist, all while blocking accesses to crucial data and cynically pushing their own industry-funded reports.
Now that the truth is coming out, it's clear that our health is at risk and public concerns are justified. The oil industry will continue to claim that there is no evidence that fracking poses any public safety risk, but they can't hide behind a wall of secrecy any longer.