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Santa Cruz County In California Bans Fracking

Travelers Today       By    Althea Serad

Updated: May 22, 2014 01:06 PM EDT

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Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Since Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking this week, it is now the first county in California State to ban the act.

On Tuesday, Santa Cruz reportedly became the first California county to ban fracking. This act of the Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking is the latest in a series of motions by local governments in California in taking action against the controversial oil and gas producing method.

According to research, fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the method of relying on injecting water, sand and some chemicals deep beneath the earth's surface in order to break up rock and free up oil and gas trapped below land.

Environmentalists have said that the chemicals used in the fracking process can pollute underground water supplies and also cause other damage. This reason has resulted in Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking.

According to Reuters, the county of Santa Cruz reportedly do not have any oil or gas production. However, advocates say that the momentum for the fracking ban only surfaced when reports of oil companies were exploring the possibly of fracking in neighboring San Benito county hit the news.

Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking is not only for the environment and welfare of the residents in the county. The ban is also reportedly intended to put pressure on Gov. Jerry Brown of California to agree in halting fracking in the state itself. The ban he reporteldy refused to take during the latest legislative session.

Noozhawk reports that Brown has previously said that he supports fracking because he believes it is better for the state to produce its own crude oil than rely on imports.

If other counties follow the step of Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking, this could lead the whole state to stop it altogether and protect the environment against pollution. Rose Braz of the Center for Biological Diversity said, "While Governor Brown refuses to protect our health and environment from fracking risks, local communities across the state are moving forward with measures to fight oil industry pollution."

On Tuesday, an oil industry representative played down the significance of the Santa Cruz vote and even called it "symbolic."

Dave Quast, California director of Energy In Depth, an oil industry-backed group said, "Activists are going around the state pursuing total bans on oil and gas development under the guise of wanting to ban fracking, but in places where people earn their livings responsibly producing our oil and gas resources, this strategy won't work."

The Fracking method has reportedly materialized as a top environmental issue in California. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, its Monterey Shale formation contains an estimated 15 billion barrels of hard-to-reach oil.

The action of Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking has followed a vote earlier in the month by city leaders in Beverly Hills to ban the method. It is reportedly the first municipality in the state to prohibit the practice.

Santa Cruz County in California bans fracking and Reuters reports that Los Angeles and Culver City may now consider banning fracking as well. The city council in Carson, California, declined to extend a temporary moratorium on fracking and other extraction practices last month. Although the Occidental Petroleum denies it will frack or use acid to stimulate those wells, it is reportedly looking to drill more than 200 new wells in the Southern California city.

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