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California and Fracking

Oil and gas production is big business in California, contributing to nine percent of its GDP, and the state’s politics are heavily influenced by this industry. Fracking in California is documented in 10 counties, most overlapping the Monterey Shale. There are a dozen fracking operations in the Santa Barbara Channel and more than 200 throughout California’s waters.

In 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown continued to support Big Oil, including by rejecting a petition signed by more than 150 environmental groups calling for a moratorium on fracking across the state. Meanwhile, Assemblyman Mike Gatto has proposed a bill that could require a warning label for any crops irrigated with fracking wastewater.

Did You Know?

In 2015, the state shut down twelve fracking wastewater storage wells in the Central Valley due to fears of water contamination, but thousands more are in close proximity to fresh water and will be allowed to remain in operation until 2017. Earthjustice is fighting to halt this illegal wastewater injection immediately. Earthjustice is also seeking to block a federal plan to open up more than a million acres of public land and mineral rights in central California to drilling and fracking.

Last Updated: September 29, 2015

The Fracked Fact Quiz

How many gallons of water were used for fracking in California in 2014?
5 million
20 million
70 million
In 2014, oil producers in California used 70 million gallons of water in the fracking process. Many cited this figure when pointing to wasteful practices contributing to the state’s ongoing historic drought.

For More Information:

The Fraccidents Map:

High profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's oil and gas drilling boom have occurred in and around California. Click on each Fraccident icon. fraccident to learn more:

Fracking Across The United States: