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December 27, 2011 > Suit filed to stop Fracking

Suit filed to stop Fracking

Submitted By Kassie Siegel

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit December 8, challenging the Bureau of Land Management's leasing of more than 2,500 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Monterey and Fresno counties for oil and gas development. The development would include "fracking" - a dangerous process where massive amounts of water, laced with undisclosed chemicals, are blasted into the ground - and would go ahead without a thorough examination of the effects this drilling will have on California's landscapes, wildlife, watersheds and air quality.

"Opening up these sensitive areas to fracking without even disclosing the risks is flat-out irresponsible," said the Center's Kassie Siegel. "Our public lands shouldn't be sacrificed for more dirty fossil fuel development just when we need to shift as quickly as possible to a clean-energy future."

"We've seen out-of-control and reckless drilling across the country, and now the industry has set its sights on California's sensitive areas," said Gary Lasky, Sierra Club California conservation leader in Fresno. "By ignoring the need for an environmental review, the industry is once again putting its profits ahead of the safety of local residents and the protection of our watersheds."

After denying a formal protest filed by the Center, Sierra Club and Los Padres Forest Watch, the BLM offered 2,703 acres of land in Monterey and Fresno counties for lease, of which 2,583 were leased for a total of $257,051.

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