In Tuesday’s election, citizens in four localities of California, Texas, and Ohio voted to ban “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional gas and oil drilling practices. In Texas and California the bans could cause ripples in nearby counties for the state governments that support development and locals that are skeptical of drilling in their
Oil and Gas companies have outraised fracking ban supporters 5:1 in Santa Barbara, California and 20:1 in Denton, Texas in an attempt to influence voters with misleading and downright inaccurate smear campaigns. Nearly all of these contributions (97.5%) came from oil companies. Supporters of the banning measures are most concerned about the potential negative impact of nearby drilling on water quality, health, and property values; but the core of the issue is the overall lack of trust in oil companies. Despite the assurances from the oil and gas industry that they operate safely without a risk to the public there are various reoccurring problems not consistent with the promises made to the community. Earthquakes, radioactive waste, water and air pollution for people living in and around fracking sites are a reality that million dollar propaganda ads cannot obscure.
Supporters also have also expressed an overall lack of confidence in their locally elected officials and state regulators since the original drilling initiatives were permitted without any consideration for the health of citizens.
This is just another small triumph for local citizens that want to keep their communities clean and healthy.