by Ari Nussbaum
A proposed ban on fracking failed to gain passage in the state Senate twice last week, disappointing environmental activists across the state. The bill, SB 1132, would have placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and acidization, which are well-stimulation techniques linked to air pollution, water contamination, and earthquakes. Environmental activists credit the bill’s failure to big oil’s aggressive lobbying; the coalition Californians Against Fracking estimated that groups such as the Western States Petroleum Association, which represents oil and natural gas interests, spent several million dollars lobbying against SB 1132 and previous moratorium proposals.
Despite the bill’s failure, a super-majority of Californians is in favor of a moratorium on fracking, according to recent poll commissioned by the Sierra Club.
In a recent press release, Sierra Club director Kathryn Phillips asserted that the environmental group would continue to fight for a ban on fracking. In her statement, Phillips disagreed with the argument that fracking generates a significant numbers of jobs in California and criticized Governor Jerry Brown for not banning the practice in order to protect the environment.