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Los Angeles City Council Calls for Moratorium on Fracking

September 5, 2013
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson in 2011.

Herb Wesson, re-elected in July 2013 as Los Angeles City Council President. Photo: LATimesblogs

The Los Angeles City Council has voted for a fracking moratorium.

L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz took a big step beyond the city boundaries in a statement about his pro-moratorium vote, saying, “As a state, we have to decide which it is: are we protecting our water supply, or not?”

Californians are increasingly active in opposing unconventional drilling — fracking for shale oil — in the Monterrey Shale.

Ecowatch reports that actor and environmental champion Ed Begley, Jr. joined the Council’s press conference, stating, “It is very important that we realize the potential risks that others around the country have already been dealing with and make sure that we do not expose Californians to those risks,” said Begley. “There are just too many unknowns and our citizens cannot afford foolish experimentation with our water, air, health, earthquakes and climate.”

Context: A Growing Municipal Movement

In addition to countless smaller towns which have banned fracking — or passed a moratorium, or passed such strict zoning regulations as to forbid shale gas development — larger cities are stepping up.

Newark mayor Cory Booker is on record favoring a moratorium on fracking, as well as supporting the New Jersey fracking waste ban.

Pittsburgh City Council banned fracking, making history as the first large city to do so.

Philadelphia City Council — with no shale under the city, and with no direct control over its own watershed — called for a moratorium in the Delaware River Watershed in March 2010, with a resolution which generated worldwide headlines, “Phila Calls for NatGas Ban.”

And Philadelphia followed up with a series of 6 resolutions so far. Philadelphia joined in a lawsuit aimed at the Delaware River Basin Commission if they lift the moratorium; insists on no shale gas development absent a comprehensive cumulative impacts study including environmental, long-range economic and health impacts; supports overturning PA Act 13’s evisceration of municipalities’ rights to zone and regulate fracking; approved a House bill for a statewide moratorium; and approved a Report which opens the way to Philadelphia calling for a ban if the emerging scientific studies show that’s what’s needed.

Clearly, from the new case histories demonstrating health impacts to the newly reported massive methane leaks to the new study on arsenic in the groundwater near fracking sites, the emerging science merits that halt.

As the UN Chief Scientist, Rajendra Pachuari, points out here, we have “five minutes to midnight” on climate action. This is no time to be escalating climate-destroying activity, from Philadelphia to LA, from Balcombe to Bulgaria.

Hats off to the Los Angeles City Council and to all the activists, scientists, writers and workers who made their vote possible!

One Comment
  1. September 5, 2013 7:55 pm

    Reblogged this on TreeHugginVamp.

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