Thousands of people marched around the State Capitol today in the largest anti-fracking protest in California.
“We’re out here to deliver a message loud and clear to Governor Brown and the legislature, that fracking is a dirty and destructive form of fossil fuel extraction that has no place in California,” said Kassie Siegel with the Center for Biological Diversities Climate Law Institute.
Siegel said hundreds of wells in California are already being fracked.
“It’s in at least ten counties today, with virtually no oversight,” said Siegel.
Fracking is the process of injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground with extremely high pressure. The liquid fractures deep layers of rock, with the goal of exposing oil settled underneath a well bore.
Proponents of fracking say it is a safe way to access oil, create energy and bring revenue to the state. Siegel argues that fracking was allowed in California before environmental studies were finished.
“People that live near fracked wells are getting sick. Their children have nose bleeds, they suffer from nausea, dizziness and even vomiting,” said Siegel.
Some neighbors who live near fracking sites said the process contaminated groundwater and exposed their families to more severe health problems.
“I have terminal cancer right now, and doctors didn’t say the water is causing it. But I’ve been having chemotherapy treatments for two years,” said David Marino.
Marino lives in Delano, Calif., about twenty miles from a fracking site. He said a lot of people in his neighborhood were sick, and that their tap water is undrinkable.
“It’s nasty. It looks almost like milk, you know? And it smells really bad, especially in the morning. When you open up the pipes, there’s a strong smell immediately,” said Marino.
Marino marched around the Capitol today. He, along with the thousands of other protestors, asked Governor Jerry Brown to consider stricter regulations on fracking. The protestors are hoping Governor Brown will sign an executive order to place a moratorium on fracking in California. They’re hoping this will buy more time for scientific studies to reveal the possible health effects caused by fracking.
“To protect our health, to protect our communities we must halt fracking now,” said Siegel.