On June 18, Kelsey Brugger’s commentary about the Refugio oil spill exposed the lengths some public officials will go to put a positive spin on our community’s recent tragedy. I hope these officials are also focused on preventing future oil and gas disasters, and specifically on several recent scientific studies linking fracking to growing threats to our public health, safety, and quality of life.
Two Pennsylvania studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found fracking chemicals and elevated levels of methane in drinking water wells near drilling sites. You can also see the devastating effects fracking is already having on our drought-ridden communities in places like Kern County, where citizens are still dealing with fallout from 532 wells that illegally injected fracking wastewater into aquifers that are used for irrigation and drinking water.
Contaminants and chemicals used in fracking can cause serious medical conditions such as infertility, birth defects, organ damage, and cancer, which are particularly concerning to pregnant women and children.
After growing up in southern Orange County with the privilege of spending my days camping and hiking outdoors, I would never want fracking to destroy the wilderness I call home. Governor Brown needs to keep our communities from harm and place a moratorium on fracking.