Anti-fracking march scheduled in Oakland

Marchers in Oakland will protest fracking on Saturday

Thousands are expected to take part in an anti-fracking demonstration in Oakland on Saturday, demanding that Gov. Jerry Brown end the controversial method of mining for gas and oil.

The so-called March for Real Climate Leadership is scheduled to begin shortly after noon at Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza and continue along a 1.8 mile-long route through downtown and along Lake Merritt.

Fracking, a method of harvesting gas and oil, involves injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand, gravel and chemicals into a well to crack open rock formations. Environmental groups have contended that the practice taints drinking water supplies, especially during droughts, and can increase the likelihood of earthquakes in certain areas.

Oil and gas industry officials insist that the method is safe and has helped the nation improve its production levels and reduce its dependency on foreign oil.

In November, voters approved bans on fracking in San Benito and Mendocino counties. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently banned fracking in his state after a review of its public health effects.

Activists in California have said that Brown’s failure to stop fracking was an inexplicable stain on his otherwise positive environmental record. The governor has often boasted how California is making significant moves to help stop climate change, from reaping more energy from renewable sources to capping greenhouse gas emissions.

But Brown has not outright rejected fracking. He has said that he’s awaiting the results of a study of fracking's economic, health and environmental implications that he and the Legislature ordered last year. It's due July 1.

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