By Thomas D. Elias
When a city like Carson, home to one large oil refinery and next-door neighbor to another, and site of both a Cal State campus and a Major League Soccer stadium, slaps a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing because of environmental questions, you know fracking of California’s vast oil and gas reserves is no sure thing.
Carson is essentially saying “enough.” It’s one thing to be oil-rich, as Carson is, and another to have unsafe drinking water, which many in the city feel they’d get if Occidental Petroleum goes ahead with a large fracking project in an oil field long considered mostly depleted.
Carson is not alone. Los Angeles, another city with a long and storied history of oil drilling, is also drafting an anti-fracking ordinance. So are others.
This activity comes because environmentalists don’t believe Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature went nearly far enough last year, when they okayed the nation’s toughest set of fracking regulations.