Attorney General Bonta Secures Decision Blocking Fracking Off California Coast

Friday, June 3, 2022
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today secured a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the Department of Interior (Interior) from authorizing fracking on offshore platforms off the coast of California. In today’s decision, the Ninth Circuit found that Interior's flawed final environmental analysis, which found that fracking poses “no significant impact,” violated the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Coastal Zone Management Act. 

“Today’s decision is a win for our communities, our environment, and the rule of law,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Offshore drilling – particularly fracking – pollutes our waterways, damages our environment, and exacerbates climate change. We saw the risks of offshore drilling first hand with the Huntington Beach oil spill last year, and we see it every day in the form of the climate crisis. Despite this, the Department of Interior found that authorizing fracking off the California coast would have no impact on our coastlines or oceans. As the Ninth Circuit found today, this is fundamentally untrue. I applaud the Court for holding the Department of Interior to account for its flawed environmental analysis and for strengthening the lower court’s decision to protect our coasts from harmful fracking.” 

In December 2016, the California Attorney General’s Office and the California Coastal Commission filed a lawsuit challenging Interior's final environmental assessment, which would have cleared the way for fracking, acidizing, and other advanced well treatments on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California.

A copy of today's decision can be found here.

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