Trump Proposes Fracking in Western Mojave

The Trump administration is proposing to open up hundreds of square miles of western Mojave slopes and central California grasslands to hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking).  Oil and gas companies' fracking technique involves injecting thousands of gallons of toxic fluids into the ground to break open pockets of fossil fuels.  Not only do these fluids contaminate groundwater supplies, allowing fracking will also make it more profitable for oil and gas companies to industrialize vast swaths of grassland, Joshua tree woodland, and oak woodland to energy exploration.


Department of Interior map showing proposed area where hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," would be allow in California grasslands, oak woodland and Joshua tree woodland.  Full map available here.

Oil and gas fracking in this area would bring miles of access roads, well pads, and evaporation ponds containing toxic chemicals harmful to wildlife. Not to mention the additional greenhouse gas emissions that such drilling would enable, worsening the ongoing impacts of climate change on wildlife and humans alike. 


Natural gas well pads scar the landscape with widespread destruction in Wyoming.  Photo cred: Peter Aengst.
Particularly hard hit would be the wildlands north of Tehachapi stretching all the way up to Lake Isabella.  Multiple habitat types would be affected, and such a broad swath of these lands could end up being converted to oil and gas fields that the cumulative development could impede wildlife movement and migration.   

The proposal to allow hydraulic fracturing in these areas is wrong for many reasons.  Although the initial scoping period has closed, the Bureau of Land Management will again solicit public input on the proposal.  You can send your comments to blm_ca_bkfo_oil_gas_update@blm.gov and keep up-to-date by monitoring the BLM website here.
Corporate extraction of natural gas and other fossil fuels releases potent greenhouse gasses that are contributing to extreme weather patterns.  Among these emissions is methane, which is up to 32 times more harmful than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.  A Colorado State University study found that the process of producing natural gas emits far more methane than previously estimated.

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