Attorney General Becerra Issues Statement on BLM Decision to Open Central California to Fracking

Thursday, December 12, 2019
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Becerra today issued a statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to open up more than one million acres of public lands in Central California to oil and gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking). In June, Attorney General Becerra filed a comment letter responding to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s deficient draft supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS), which fails to fully evaluate the project’s impact on the communities and environment of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties.

“The Trump Administration’s Bureau of Land Management wants to expose more than a million acres of public land in Central California to drilling and fracking using a patently deficient environmental impact study,” said Attorney General Becerra. “That’s not how we do things in California. We’re prepared to do whatever we must to protect the health and safety of our people. We intend to be good stewards of our public lands.”

On April 26, 2019, BLM issued a draft supplemental EIS evaluating its plan to open more than one million acres of federal lands to oil and gas leasing. Fracking is a procedure in which oil and gas producers inject water, sand, and certain chemicals at high pressure into tight rock formations to extract oil and gas. While most of the fluid is water, the process also includes toxic chemicals that pollute nearby groundwater and flow back to the surface for above-ground storage. 

A growing body of evidence points to fracking as a significant cause of water and air pollution and low-level seismic events.

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