Beverly Hills has become the latest city in the United States (and the first city in California) to ban hydraulic fracturing — the controversial practice of blasting a mix of water and chemicals into shale rock to extract natural gas. The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to ban fracking. Anti-fracking activists accuse the natural gas industry of contaminating groundwater and drinking water, contributing to climate change through methane gas flaring and causing earthquakes among other concerns.
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“This is not a ‘not in my backyard issue’ — it should not be in anyone’s back yard,” said Councilmember John Mirsch. “And we also need to think long-term, even if our city is not a center of drilling — injecting millions of gallons of water and chemicals at high pressure into the earth can’t be good.” Vice Mayor Julian Gold added that fracking is not a “compatible land use underneath our homes, schools and businesses.”
Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City and Carson have taken steps to ban fracking with L.A. and Carson already imposing moratoriums on natural gas drilling. In Sacramento, a proposal to place a state-wide moratorium was approved by the State Senate on Tuesday. U.S. cities Dallas, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the state of Vermont have banned fracking. Countries that have banned fracking include France and Bulgaria.
“The safety of this method of oil extraction has come into question by the populations who live and work near oil wells employing these methods of extraction,” Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said. “Many believe it is polluting the air and water and endangering wildlife and public health.”
Via Huffington Post