Californians gained a key victory in the fight to protect the state's water and air Monday when three bills that halt the practice of fracking won votes in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
The bills call for a moratorium on the controversial and polluting extraction method allowing the state more time to examine the threats posed on California's environment and public health.
"The lack of regulations in an environment that should be regulated is a recurrent theme," said Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, author of Assembly Bill 1301 which was sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch and Clean Water Action. "Public and scientific concerns have increase exponentially yet regulatory oversight lags behind."
That bill, along with A.B. 649 and A.B. 1323 will next go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Calling the vote "an important step in the effort to protect California from the dangers of fracking,” Andrew Grinberg of Clean Water Action said, “This committee gets it that the state needs to slow down and assess the many threats to our air, water, climate and communities of extreme oil extraction.”
“This is a huge win for Californians,” added Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. “These bills will protect the air we breathe and the water we drink from cancer-causing chemicals and other fracking pollutants."
Agreeing that it was a victory for the people, Pacific director for Food & Water Watch, Kristin Lynch said, “From the food that California farmers grow today to the long-term future of our state’s water resources and air, California’s economy and vital resources hang in the balance if we allow fracking to continue in California.”