In what some are calling a symbolic gesture, on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors for Santa Cruz County voted unanimously to ban hydraulic fracturing, public radio station KQED reports.
Santa Cruz becomes the first county in California to forbid the controversial drilling method, which combines sand and high pressure water release to access remote oil deposits deep beneath the earth’s surfaces.
According to the progressive environmental organization Center for Biological Diversity, fracking in California has gone on for many years. Moreover, it is being done in ten California counties–Colusa, Glenn, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Kings, and Ventura. Additionally, offshore fracking takes place along the coast of California from Seal Beach to the Santa Barbara Channel. Gov. Jerry Brown is known to oppose bans on fracking.
The Santa Cruz vote to ban fracking does little to change the course of an industry that has been touted by many as a potential savior for the state. A University of Southern California study claims that fracking could bring 24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue and as many as 2.8 million jobs by 2020.
Nevertheless, Joy Hinz with lobbying group Citizens Climate maintains that “It’s much more than symbolic. It bans fracking. They cannot come here and do that. That’s not symbolic. That’s real.”