Grassroots Power Puts Fracking Ban Within Reach

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Common Dreams

Grassroots Power Puts Fracking Ban Within Reach

"We must focus on sustainable practices that preserve our clean air and clean water."

Photo: Vertigogen/cc/flickr

A swelling grassroots coalition is hoping they can stop their county from becoming another landscape "scarred" by fracking.

The Santa Barbara County Water Guardians gathered roughly 16,000 signatures — 3,000 more than required — to put a measure to ban the controversial extraction technique on the November ballot.

Their proposal goes Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors, who can put the measure on the Nov. ballot, or can choose to vote the initiative directly into law.

"This is the result of hundreds of volunteers working tirelessly to qualify this initiative for the ballot," stated Corrie Ellis of Water Guardians. "This represents more than 3,000 hours of volunteer effort in just three weeks, which shows the strength of community support for this initiative."

In addition to banning fracking, their proposal seeks to ban two other "extreme extraction techniques" — acidizing and steam injection.

"Santa Barbara County is under threat of a massive increase in oil production made possible through dangerous and polluting 'enhanced' extraction techniques," Water Guardians states on their website.

"Oil companies have identified thousands upon thousands of potential drill locations across our region — from Santa Maria to Carpinteria."

"We must protect our County by placing a ban on these extreme extraction techniques," the group writes.

Among those in favor of the fracking ban is local farmer Tom Shepherd, who said, "The oil companies are pushing hard to create a short-term fracking bubble that will leave our landscapes scarred and our resources damaged."

"If we want our children and grandchildren to thrive in this region, we must focus on sustainable practices that preserve our clean air and clean water. A ban on fracking in this region can't come soon enough, and that is why I am a proud proponent of this initiative," Shepherd stated.

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