San Diegans Protest Fracking in California

Protesters gathered at the Ocean Beach Boardwalk Saturday to protest Jerry Brown’s support for hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional oil and gas extraction methods.

The protest was led by the California based Courage Campaign, Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper.

San Diego joined 15 other cities in California rallying on Saturday, urging the government to focus more on renewable energy.

“We believe the risks of fracking to Californians far exceed the benefits. The oil and gas companies reap all of the royalties and revenue from oil, whereas the residents are exposed to potential earthquakes…air contamination, water contamination,” said Nicole Piell-Moelter, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at Akamai Technologies. The group was involved with the rally. “We want to educate [people] about the solutions, the alternatives to oil in California, which is electric vehicles, energy efficiency, fuel efficiency and bio fuel.”

The rally comes amid concerns whether fracking really is damaging groundwater and local resources. Ralliers pointed to recent findings of the California Council on Science and Technology and Berkeley Lab Release Scientific Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing in California.

The study says there is a possibility for contamination of groundwater due to the use of hazardous chemicals in fracking. It also cites the potential for health problems, habitat disruption, and oil spills, and air pollution.

The study found that state regulatory officials lack proper data to adequately investigate potential problems, and more research and monitoring is needed.

"If this doesn’t stop there could be the potential for…contamination of our aquifers, which is not a great thing in this drought,” Peill-Moelter said. “We really want to make this an uplifting experience. We really want to make sure Californians are educated and making informed decisions, and also understanding what the alternatives are.”

More than 150,000 people in California have signed a petition urging Governor Brown to stop fracking and oil extraction, according to those at the rally. 

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