Center for Biological Diversity

Coastal Commission: Halt Offshore Fracking Sign-on Lettter

Dear Friends,

Please join the sign-on letter below that asks the California Coastal Commission to prevent offshore fracking. The recent news that oil companies are fracking for oil off California's coast is alarming. Fracking uses toxic chemicals; it compounds the risks of oil drilling; and it extracts fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. The California Coastal Commission has launched an investigation into offshore fracking and it has the authority to protect California's coasts from risky fracking. The letter below will be delivered to the Commission to urge a halt to offshore fracking

The deadline is December 10, 2013.  We are no longer accepting signatures.

Please let us know if you have any questions. With many thanks for all you do.
Rose Braz and Miyoko Sakashita, Center for Biological Diversity
Dear Commissioners,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our members, we urge you to protect California’s coastal waters and marine life from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of offshore oil and gas wells. Fracking is happening in state and federal waters off California’s coast. This practice has received little or no oversight despite the hazardous risks it poses. The Coastal Commission has a broad mandate to protect our coastal resources, including wildlife, marine fisheries, and the natural environment. We urge the Commission to exercise its authority to halt offshore fracking.

Fracking and other unconventional production techniques, such as fracture acidizing, pose an urgent threat to water quality, marine life, and coastal communities. Modern fracking uses high pressure to inject toxic chemicals and water underground to force oil or gas out of shale formations. Fracking produces large volumes of waste contaminated with chemicals that are known carcinogens or pose other health and ecological hazards.

Despite the long-standing moratorium on offshore oil leases off the California coast, oil and gas companies have begun to use risky, new fracking techniques to get more oil out of those old leases. Fracking compounds the risks of conventional drilling by intensifying the activities, burdening ageing infrastructure, and extending the life of oil production. Consequently, the risks of oil spills, vessel traffic, discharges of toxic waste, and air pollution are substantially increased, as are the impacts on the coastal environment and climate.

Fracking poses an unreasonable risk to endangered whales and the scores of wildlife in the Santa Barbara Channel; and has the potential to severely impact newly established Marine Protected Areas. It also degrades the natural coastal environment enjoyed by Californians. Because fracking violates the central tenets of the Coastal Act, the Commission must assert its authority to regulate oil and gas development in the coastal zone and stop the risky practice. It must also ensure that oil drilling activities in federal waters are consistent with protecting coastal resources.

In summary, bold leadership is needed to immediately protect California’s beaches, waters and wildlife from offshore fracking. The Commission should use its authority to prevent offshore fracking that threatens our coast.