California Legislators Call for Immediate Offshore Oil Fracking Investigation

Recent media report shines light on controversial practice of fracking in Santa Barbara Channel

By MarEx 2013-08-08 08:47:00

Looking south-southwest, across the Santa Barbara Channel; the city of Santa Barbara, California is below, and the Channel Islands (specifically Santa Cruz Island) are in the distance.

Assemblymember Das Williams circulated a letter Tuesday calling on the Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency to investigate reports of hydraulic fracturing beneath the seabed floor off the California Coast.

Williams, a lifelong environmentalist and coastal advocate, has been joined by eight other California lawmakers, calling for a strict review and possible new regulations of fracking in the ocean.

“Hydraulic fracturing poses great potential dangers to our sea life and all California residents,” said Assemblymember Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara. “This controversial well stimulation technique needs greater scrutiny, particularly when it potentially jeopardizes our coastal way of life.”

Assemblymembers Mark Stone, Marc Levine, Richard Bloom, Adrin Nazarian, Bob Wieckowski and Senators Fran Pavley, Noreen Evans and Hannah-Beth Jackson have all signed on in support of the letter.

The Associated Press on Aug. 3 reported that companies have used hydraulic fracturing at least a dozen times to “force open cracks beneath the seabed.” The report says that regulators are looking into whether companies should obtain a separate permit and should face a stricter environmental review.

The Santa Barbara Channel was the site of the infamous 1969 oil spill, which killed countless birds and marine life.

“The fact that hydraulic fracturing is occurring off our California coast with little or no review is a frightening thought,” Williams said. “We, as residents and noble citizens, must stand together to call for greater scrutiny. We cannot take chances that could irreparably harm us all.”