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Groups pressure Legislature to back California fracking moratorium

More than 100 environmental and community groups Thursday sent a letter to the California Legislature urging lawmakers to support a moratorium on the oil-production method of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in California.

Led by the national progressive group CREDO, the coalition is supporting SB 1132 by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), which is pending in the Senate and would halt fracking to allow more studies to determine whether the method poses health hazards.

“This bill presents lawmakers with a clear-cut choice that will show whether they are on the side of oil industry lobbyists or Californians concerned about public health and safety,” said Zack Malitz, the campaign manager for CREDO. “It’s clear from the broad support across California that residents know a moratorium is the right path to protect our communities from the well-documented dangers of fracking.”

Groups that signed on to the letter include the Burbank Green Alliance, the California League of United Latin American Citizens, the California League of Conservation Voters, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment.

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“Given these techniques’ long-term consequence and known harmful impacts elsewhere, it is entirely appropriate for California to impose a moratorium on fracking, acidizing and all well stimulation while the state reviews the current and future effects here,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, a new statewide poll found that 68% of Californians support a fracking moratorium until the practice can be studied more, and that a majority would be more likely to vote for a legislator who voted in favor of such a measure.

“This poll shows that most Californians have heard about fracking, and they don’t want it to create the same problems here that it has caused in other states,” said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California. The group commissioned the poll from the firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.


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