Anti-Fracking Momentum Grows with Another People’s Victory in California, Measure E passed with an overwhelming 71 percent, making Butte County the fourth in the state to ban fracking by Lauren McCauley, June 8, 2016, Common Dreams
Notching another victory for the growing national anti-fracking movement, voters in Butte County, California on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a measure that bans the controversial oil and gas drilling process in their communities.
Measure E won with 71 percent of the vote, making Butte the fourth California county to pass such a measure, following Mendocino, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties, and adding to the growing list of states and municipalities across the nation that have come out against fracking.
Agriculture is the top industry in Butte County, which sits just north of Sacramento. Proponents of the measure argued that threatening the aquifers with toxic fracking chemicals would destroy the “lifeblood” of the local economy.
“We are thrilled that Butte County voters decided to protect our clean water and almond and walnut farms from fracking,” said Dave Garcia, of Frack-Free Butte County. “We’re proud that we can hand down a community that’s green and pristine to our children and grandchildren.”
Despite the fact that a majority of Californians oppose the practice, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has embraced fracking in the state. What’s more, two federal agencies late last month quietly lifted the ban on offshore fracking in the waters off the California coast.
“When our Governor and local elected officials fail to act, voters are taking the initiative at the ballot box to protect their health and their water from fracking,” said Ella Teevan, Northern California organizer with Food & Water Watch. “The victory in Butte County will inspire other counties and cities to follow suit.”
Indeed, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors are expected to rule on a similar measure this summer while residents of Monterey County will be voting on a ban in November.
The oil industry has vowed a vigorous fight in Monterey, which sits atop the yet un-fracked, petroleum-rich Monterey Shale.
Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders endorsed that measure while campaigning in California’s Salinas Valley last week, telling supporters in Spreckels: “There is a growing movement against fracking that is beginning to spread all across our country.” [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2016: NINE STUDIES: US Geological Survey (USGS), University Colorado (UC), Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) studied sudden man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, found fracing is the causation
“Abnormally dangerous and ultra hazardous activity.” Did TRC or Chevron’s fracing kill Robert David Taylor? What happened to California regulators’ vows to make steam injections safer? “Safer?” Why not make it “safe?”
2015: Feed benzene, petroleum hydrocarbons, acetone, methylene chloride to your loved ones? In California almonds, artichokes, olives, garlic, broccoli, nectarines, canned tomatoes, celery, apricots, strawberries, cauliflower?
2015: California farmers rely on Chevron’s wastewater to irrigate. Some refuse: “I would rather let my trees die” than use Chevron’s water. Compare to the Chevron Tapes that allegedly show the company covering up contamination in Ecuador
2015: California now says 2,500 wells dumping frac waste into protected aquifers, up from 532 in February. Regulators order oil drillers including Chevron Corp. and Linn Energy LLC to halt operations at 12 injection wells (two were issued cease and desist orders) because they may taint groundwater suitable for drinking and irrigation
2014: Federally commissioned report, California Council on Science and Technology: Fracking is at shallower depths than previously realized, “It turns out that they’re fracking right around the water table”