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Anti-fracking movement gains traction in California as landslide vote forbids destructive, water-polluting practice


(NaturalNews) The national anti-fracking movement continues to grow as voters have overwhelmingly approved a ban against fracking in Butte County, California - making it the fourth county in the state to pass such legislation.

71 percent of voters supported Measure E, which bans all oil and gas fracking operations in the county. Agriculture is Butte County's biggest industry and locals fear that toxic waste from fracking operations will pollute aquifers in the area, destroying the "lifeblood" of the county's economy.

CommonDreams.org quoted Dave Garcia, of Frack-Free Butte County, who said:

"We are thrilled that Butte County voters decided to protect our clean water and almond and walnut farms from fracking. We're proud that we can hand down a community that's green and pristine to our children and grandchildren."

Mendocino, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties have already passed similar bans, but the anti-fracking movement in California still faces major hurdles:

"Despite the fact that a majority of Californians oppose the practice, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has embraced fracking in the state. What's more, two federal agencies late last month quietly lifted the ban on offshore fracking in the waters off the California coast."

Opposition to fracking in California is gaining momentum, however, as more counties in the state are expected to pass fracking bans. Both Alameda and Monterey county are poised to pass similar measures this year.

The anti-fracking movement is also growing throughout the country - Vermont and New York have approved state-wide bans and Maryland has established a moratorium on fracking through 2017. Numerous local communities across the U.S. have also passed fracking bans.

From The Boston Globe:

"Across the United States more than 400 cities, towns, counties, districts, and states have attempted to ban fracking or practices associated with fracking, according to advocacy group Food & Water Watch."

The dangers of fracking

The oil and gas industry has gone to great lengths to play down the dangers of fracking, but hundreds of studies have shown that fracking poses serious threats to the environment and human health.

And the threats are numerous - fracking contaminates water supplies, air and soil with non-biodegradable toxic chemicals that will never go away. Heavy metals and radioactive substances that cause cancer and other serious health problems are released into the environment during fracking.

Forests and natural wildlife habitats are destroyed by the fracking industry.

Fracking causes earthquakes.

Fracking contaminates 15 billion gallons of water each year.

Federal government protects fracking industry

Despite the dangers, the fracking industry is protected by loopholes in environmental laws.

From FoodAndWaterWatch.org:

"In the United States, drilling and fracking are exempt from the landmark environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, thanks to loopholes Congress and regulators have carved out for oil and gas corporations – and spills and accidents are far too common. Food & Water Watch maintains that the fracking process, from constructing well sites to managing toxic fracking waste, is too risky to be regulated. Regulations can never make fracking safe. Fracking also prolongs our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels, delaying policies that will bring us truly clean, renewable energy."

Fortunately, awareness of the threat is growing and the opposition is becoming more powerful. People are beginning to see the effects of widespread fracking and for the first time, a majority of Americans are opposed to the industry, according to a recent Gallup poll.

You can do your part in the fight against fracking by signing the petition found here.

It's time to let our leaders know that fracking should be completely banned in the United States.


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