In the wake of the defeat of Senate Bill 1132 (the Fracking Moratorium Bill) and of Governor Jerry Brown’s continued support for the extreme oil extraction methods and acidization, fracking continues in California with minimal, weak regulation. Given the dearth of state-level leadership, communities are stepping up to stop fracking locally. In San Benito, Santa Barbara, Mendocino, and Butte Counties, activists are working on local ballot initiatives to ban fracking. Now, Alameda County has joined the fight.
On July 9, fifty fractivists gathered for a kick-off meeting of Alameda County Against Fracking (ACAF). Elizabeth Echols and Tony Thurmond, both running for State Assembly, took part in the launch event to show their support for a fracking ban. ACAF is actively signing on new partners; so far eleven groups have joined the campaign.
Alameda County is home to six producing oil wells, and while not currently being fracked, the Bay Chapter’s Don’t Frack CA Team, as a founding member of ACAF, is urging the County Board of Supervisors to pass legislation ensuring that the county stays frack-free. To date, a majority of Supervisors have expressed support for fracking-ban legislation in unincorporated Alameda County, but they have conveyed that they want to hear broad-based community support before moving forward.
Meet other fractivists, share your ideas, and learn what you can do to help ban fracking in Alameda County at the Don’t Frack CA Team’s next monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 pm at the Chapter office in Berkeley. Also, look for us at the Chapter Picnic on Friday, August 1.
For more information, to join the Google Group announcing upcoming events and news articles of interest, or to volunteer, contact Aria Cahir, Chair of the Bay Chapter Don’t Frack CA Team, at dontfrackcal at gmail.com. If you are active in a group that would support a ban on fracking, please get in touch about bringing that group on board—we are aiming for one-hundred and fifty organizations to support the ban on fracking in Alameda County.