Letters to the Editor

Monday, Mar 24 2014 11:05 PM

Kern County should follow suit

On March 22, The Californian wrongly accused Los Angeles City Council Members of "fear-mongering" about a potential link between an earthquake and hydraulic fracturing ("Fear-mongering: Blaming fracking for quake").

My organization, Clean Water Action, along with Earthworks and Center for Biological Diversity, released a report (shakyground.org) which took a look at the risk of fracking-related earthquakes in the state. Our report found that 834 injection wells in California lie within 10 miles of an active fault, and the epicenter of the LA quake in question is eight miles from the nearest well. The National Research Council has recommended evaluating seismic events within 12.4 miles of injection wells for induced seismicity, and geologists have confirmed that numerous seismic events around the country were caused by injection of fracking wastewater.

Council members Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin should be applauded, not attacked, for asking whether there is a connection between oil wastewater injection and the quake. Their inquiry is completely in line with the accepted science on the topic and is motivated by their desire to protect their constituents.

Los Angeles electeds have shown leadership on fracking (see Holly Mitchell's SB 1132, which would put a moratorium on fracking in California). Kern County and state officials should follow their lead and resist the line of thinking perpetuated in this paper -- that questioning Big Oil is out of line. It's time to shift the burden of proof to the polluters and stop attacking those who wish to protect our state from known dangers.

Andrew Grinberg

Oakland

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