California Court Orders Obama Administration to Conduct Fracking Review

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September 6, 2016

On September 6, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order to the Obama Administration calling for further environmental review of the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in California.

The order comes in the wake of a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) resource management plan (RMP) for Bakersfield, California, which does not contain language regarding the potential impacts of fracking. The court found that the RMP had insufficiently examined the potential impacts of fracking in central California, and required BLM to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS), which would provide further insight into the potential impacts of fracking in the area.

Opponents of fracking have voiced concerns over groundwater contamination that may result from the process, which would diminish California’s water supply. Proponents of fracking argue that the technique provides significant economic benefits. The ruling will ensure that land covered in the RMP is properly assessed to determine whether fracking could be environmentally harmful in the region.

Sources: E&E Energywire, Earthjustice, Bureau of Land Management