CALIFORNIA—The California Coastal Commission and California’s attorney general filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Interior’s finding that fracking does not have serious environmental impact.
Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks to force open existing fissures to extract oil or gas. The federal government claimed after environmental assessment that there was no significant impact to marine life or to the safety of water from fracking. The state of California challenges the claim, citing risks to public health and marine life as the reasons why fracking is dangerous and it demands more evaluation.
“We must take every possible step to protect our precious coastline and ocean,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday in a statement. “The US Department of Interior’s inadequate environmental assessment would open the door to practices like fracking that may pose a threat to the health and well-being of California communities.”
The concern for fracking also comes from the possibility of oil spills. In 1969, the country had its first large offshore oil spill near Santa Barbara. The thousands of barrels of crude oil that spilled affected marine life, birds and mammals.
Govenor Jerry Brown has requested that new offshore drilling off the coast of California be permanently banned. According to the California Coastal Commission, the federal government environmental assessment did not disclose the chemicals used by oil companies and their effects. The lawsuit states the lack of disclosure is a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.