Though they do not actually know whether there is any hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) happening in Los Angeles, three members of the city council have introduced a resolution that blames tracking for Monday’s 4.4-magnitude earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Last month, the council voted unanimously to place a moratorium on any fracking that might be occurring in the city, again without evidence that it is occurring.
The city sits atop oil formations and produces 1.5 million barrels per year, largely through old-fashioned pumping.
Fracking involves injecting a mix of chemicals at high pressure into deep subsurface rock formations to loosen them and release oil and natural gas. There is no evidence that it causes any environmental damage, yet critics claim–without scientific evidence–that it contaminates groundwater, among other claimed side effects.
The resolution claims fracking creates “seismic events”–as have previous resolutions–and calls for further study of the earthquake by city, state and federal government. The resolution blames suspected fracking on the site of the Veterans Administration complex for the earthquake, though the epicenter is several miles away. The earthquake happened on a fault line that had previously only recorded smaller earthquakes.
The state’s Democratic Party and Gov. Jerry Brown are currently at odds over fracking. Brown, while styling himself as a champion of environmentalist causes like high-speed rail, has refused to support a fracking ban in the state, which has triggered protest from left-wing groups.
Last Saturday, anti-cracking activists held a demonstration in the state capital of Sacramento demanding that Brown change his position on fracking.