The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Fracking Moratorium Bill Attracts Support From Nurses, Farmers, Cancer Group

California Nurses Association, Family Farm Defenders, Breast Cancer Action Among More Than 100 Groups Backing A.B. 1301


A state assembly bill that would halt hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in California has won support from the California Nurses Association, Breast Cancer Action, Family Farm Defenders, Aromas Cares for Our Environment, Frack-Free Culver City, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch and more than 100 other organizations representing labor, farmers, public health professionals and local residents concerned about fracking pollution in their communities.

In a letter delivered today to state legislators, the groups expressed strong support for Assemblymember Richard Bloom's A.B. 1301, which would place a moratorium on fracking and mandate a review of the controversial practice's health and environmental dangers.

"Fracking endangers our climate, air, water, wildlife, public health and private property," says the groups' letter. The bill -- sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch and Clean Water Action -- comes before the Assembly Natural Resources committee on April 29.

Fracking uses huge volumes of water mixed with sand and dangerous chemicals to blast open rock formations and release oil and gas. The controversial technique -- currently unregulated and unmonitored by state officials -- has been used in hundreds and perhaps thousands of California oil and gas wells.

"Assemblymember Bloom's bill to protect our state from fracking pollution is supported by nurses, farmers and many other Californians," said Rose Braz of the Center for Biological Diversity. "We're working together to stop fracking from contaminating our air and water and causing irreversible damage to our state's efforts to fight climate change."

Fracking has been tied to air and water pollution across America; it also releases large amounts of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas.

"The broad and diverse support for A.B. 1301, the strongest fracking bill introduced this session, speaks volumes to the fact that Californians are deeply concerned about the adverse health and economic impacts fracking poses to our great state," said Kristin Lynch of Food & Water Watch.

A 2011 House Energy and Commerce Committee report found that more than 750 different chemicals are used in fracking fluid and that many are toxic, carcinogenic, or otherwise hazardous.

"Many Californians are perplexed that this governor is facilitating drilling for billions of barrels of hydrocarbons that will add significantly more carbon to the atmosphere, while the state has just begun to implement a new carbon reduction program (A.B. 32 -- the Global Warming Solutions Act) and the recently enacted Proposition 39 -- intended to help make California a model clean energy state," said Miriam Gordon, California director of Clean Water Action. "The oil and gas industry is responsible for 40 percent of methane emissions in the U.S., and fracking will add significantly more methane. It's complete insanity to increase greenhouse gas emissions when they are causing a global crisis threatening our very survival."

A copy of the letter with a complete list of organizations supporting A.B. 1301 is available here.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

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