Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Miyoko Sakashita: Stop Fracking Our Oceans, Californians Say

Contaminated water, polluted air, increased earthquake risk: As fracking has expanded across America, this dangerous form of oil and gas production has caused massive harm to our environment and public health.

Now the oil industry is ramping up fracking offshore, in our delicate coastal ecosystems.

The Gulf of Mexico, industry sources say, is about to experience a steep increase in offshore fracking, which involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at high pressures to crack the rock and release oil and gas.

Here in California, the oil industry has already fracked hundreds of offshore wells near Seal Beach and Long Beach and in the Santa Barbara Channel. There’s been almost no oversight of this dangerous practice by federal and state officials, who can’t even say exactly where or how often fracking has been used off our coast.

But Californians are fighting back, determined to protect the Golden State’s coastal communities, beautiful beaches and endangered marine wildlife.

A majority of state voters back a ban on offshore fracking, according to a new poll commissioned by my organization and conducted by Public Policy Polling.

The poll also found 2 in 3 California voters are concerned about offshore fracking’s effects on endangered marine wildlife like blue whales, who congregate in the Santa Barbara Channel.

That concern is well founded. The federal government, astonishingly, has given oil companies to dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including fracking fluid, a year into the ocean off California’s coast…..[continue reading]

 

— by Miyoko Sakashita writing for Huffington Post.

 

Miyoko Sakashita is a senior attorney and director of the Oceans Project at the Center for Biological Diversity.

 

huntingtonbeach-a

Surfers at Huntington Beach, California. (Photo:  Christine Vaufrey)

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