River Watch Header Image

Fracking on Coast Revealed

By Amanda Wallner

Last week, the Associated Press reported that for several years, oil companies have been using hydraulic fracturing techniques (fracking) off the coast of California.

This dangerous process combines harsh chemicals, other materials, and (usually) intense pressure to help break up rock and soil for oil and gas extraction. There are a lot of unknowns about what fracking will do to the marine environment; and to make matters worse, oil companies are reportedly dumping fracking fluids into the ocean without treating it.

Now that we know oil companies are fracking offshore, we can do something about it. The California Coastal Commission must sign off on all offshore drilling projects, and can go back and look at previously approved projects if the circumstances have changed – and they have.

This Thursday, August 15, the Coastal Commission will be meeting in Santa Cruz. When the Deputy Director gives her report on offshore fracking to the Coastal Commissioners, we will be there to make sure the Commissioners know that we expect swift and forceful action to investigate and put a stop to dangerous fracking practices off our coast.