|A fracking operation in Oxnard, California. Photo credit: Sarah Craig / Faces of Fracking – via Flickr.|
By Anders Lorenzen
Anti fracking activists, riding high on last year’s New York State fracking ban, have now set their sights on California. Earlier this month 8,000 people took to the streets of Oakland, California to demand a ban on fracking in the state. According to 350.org, a grassroots climate change organisation, it was the largest anti-fracking march to have taken place anywhere.
The protesters chose to gather in Oakland as it is the hometown of California’s governor Jerry Brown. Whilst California has some of the US’s toughest climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, the state is also a large oil and gas producer, much of which comes from fracking.
As with other US states, gas and oil from fracking has seen a boom in California, but with that boom comes public resistance, amidst worries about repercussions such as increased pollution, ground water contamination, earthquakes and climate change. The impacts of climate change in California is already prevalent with the state undergoing one of the most severe droughts ever recorded.
On the 1st of January this year, Jerry Brown signed a bill for increased regulations for the fracking industry, however opponents don’t feel it goes far enough. And this month, the LA Times featured an editorial calling for all fracking to be halted in the state until we know more about the controversial technology. There is clearly movement afoot; could the next US anti-fracking battle be unfolding in California?