Thousands of protestors converged on Sacramento on Saturday, urging Gov. Jerry Brown to institute a moratorium on fracking in California. The demonstration is believed to be the largest anti-fracking rally in state history.
The protest was organized largely in response to Gov. Brown’s decision to support the development of California’s Monterey Shale formation. Said a spokesperson for CREDO Action, an organization that helped coordinate the rally, “we want to make it clear that as [Gov. Brown] decides whether to green light a massive expansion of fracking in California, his legacy is on the line.” The demonstration comes only a week after anti-fracking protestors interrupted Gov. Brown’s speech at the state Democratic Convention as he announced his intention to seek re-election.
Arguing that current drilling regulations are far too lax, some protestors called on Gov. Brown to support SB-1132, a bill that would ban hydraulic fracturing until the state can confirm that the practice poses no threat to the environment or public health. That bill is currently pending in the state legislature. Other demonstrators argued that the governor should ban fracking through an executive order.
The protest, however, is not expected to alter Gov. Brown’s position that fracking will bolster the state economy and unlock vast energy resources. As we reported last year, California enacted hydraulic fracturing legislation in September, which fracking proponents believe adequately safeguards against shale development’s potential risks.
The Monterey Shale formation is estimated to hold more than 15 million barrels of recoverable natural gas and remains largely untapped.