Modern fracking in California is a huge new source of greenhouse gas emissions as well as a threat to our water and air quality and cause of earthquakes. SanDiego350.org is educating the public and local elected officials about the hazards associated with fracking, and calling for a ban on fracking in California.
FRACTS: Fracking Frequently Asked Questions
What is fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing)? Fracking is a process to release and extract oil or gas by blasting water, toxic chemicals, and sand at extreme pressure miles underground into a shale rock layer.
Where is fracking happening in California? Fracking has already taken place in several California counties, with companies targeting the massive Monterey Shale rock formation that stretches from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. Offshore fracking is happening now and could happen in the waters off San Diego County.
What’s wrong with fracking?
- Water Pollution and Shortages: Fracking uses toxic chemicals like benzene (a carcinogen) and toluene and generates massive172174_inglewood-fracking_ALS_ amounts of toxic wastewater. About 5% of wells immediately fail after being fracked, enabling groundwater and soil contamination. Fracking would use and abuse trillions of gallons of water at a time when we cannot afford to waste any water.
- Air Pollution: Fracking wells emit volatile organic compounds, which contribute to smog formation and air toxics including benzene and hexane, which can cause cancer and other serious health effects. California is already home to some of the worst air quality pollution in the nation and fracking would make it worse.
- Earthquakes: Fracking wastewater wells have been shown to cause earthquakes and much of the Monterey Shale lies directly above the San Andreas Fault.
- Climate Change: Methane emissions released in fracking operations contribute to global warming as much as coal, or even more. But even more basically, we have a math problem. Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of stabilizing the global average temperature. But the amount of carbon already contained in proven coal and oil and gas reserves is FIVE TIMES that number. So in short, to stabilize the climate, we must leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground – not look to develop new sources.
- Special permission to pollute: The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 contained the “Halliburton Loophole,” an exemption for gas drilling and extraction from requirements in the the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
Why should fracking be banned? Fracking is inherently dangerous and cannot be done safely. Destroying our natural resources and compromising our health for only benefits the greed of the oil companies. Finally, burning that oil will have a devastating effect on our climate crisis, which is causing more disasters year after year. Governor Brown should ban fracking and accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy.
Does fracking create energy independence? California has long been an oil extraction state and much of our oil is exported. We expect that more oil obtained through fracking would follow this trend as oil is sold on an international market. Fracking California for oil only serves to financially enrich the oil companies and leave Californians with the pollution.
Do Californians support or oppose fracking? A majority of Californians (51%) oppose increased use of fracking for oil and natural gas extraction while only 35% support fracking. (PPIC poll, July 2013)
How can I help?
Educate yourself and others: let your friends and family know about the hazards. Download a flyer.dontfrackcas
Contact elected officials: Ask your State Assemblymember & Senator and Governor Jerry Brown to support a ban on fracking in California.
Join our effort! email Peg Mitchell to get involved.
Not in San Diego? Contact our partner organizations: Californians Against Fracking / Food & Water Watch / Center for Biological Diversity /
Thanks for posting this. We really need to transition away from fossil fuels to greater efficiency and renewables. Hope the Governor will support a moratorium or ban on fracking soon.
Ken Glick says
Facts about fracking? Gimme a break! This article was nothing more than another hatchet job against an industry which is lowering energy costs in the US while providing tens of thousands of Good paying jobs good paying jobs in the US all the while it’s reducing the amount of carbon emissions from US power plants.
Here is a decidedly more scientific basis view of the positive aspects of fracking; http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20131014/OPINION/131019948/you-shouldnt-fear-fracking-heres-why#
Frank Gormlie says
Hey, let’s have a discussion.
Natural gas Consumers are NOT benefiting:
An article posted in The National Journal asserts that fracking — dangerous to the environment, the earth and humans — has resulted in huge price breaks in natural gas for businesses, but comparatively little for consumers.
The article reveals that the industrial sector has seen the wholesale price of natural gas decrease by 66% — attributed to fracking increases in the supply of natural gas — but only 23% for residential consumers. This, of course, raises the issues yet again of who is benefitting from the large risk of fracking, which uses toxic chemicals, pollutes the environment, and ravages the earth’s outer layer.-
U.S. Consumers Getting Fracked
The Southeast shifted to being a “net demand region” in 2012, when it started taking in more gas than it was delivering to other regions. The north-south flow reversal is likely to bring with it a long-term rise in gas prices.
Natural Gas Fracking has Flipped US Energy Map, Study Says
Most claims that shale gas will significantly reduce US carbon emissions in the future are based on little more than hand-waving and wishful thinking. That’s because those claims assume natural gas is replacing coal only, rather than replacing some combination of coal, renewables, nuclear power, and energy efficiency — which is obviously what will happen in the real world.