Last summer's Refugio oil spill off California's coast serves as just the latest reminder of the damage oil drilling and transportation can do. More than 140,000 gallons of crude oil were dumped into the Pacific Ocean, and hundreds of birds, fish, sea lions and dolphins were killed. Offshore fracking is a dirty, dangerous practice that increases the risk of yet another disaster.
Thankfully, oil companies' use of fracking has been on hold in our federal waters, following a legal settlement won by the Center for Biological Diversity on Jan. 29. But that could soon change, given a recent proposal from the Obama administration to allow oil companies to resume business as usual.
We can't let that happen. The incredibly high injection pressures used to break up rocks below the sea and access oil carry huge risks of causing more spills and triggering earthquakes. And if we don't speak up, oil companies will be allowed to continue dumping an alarming 9 billion gallons of chemical-laden wastewater into our ocean each year. These chemicals have been identified by scientists as among the most toxic to aquatic life, and they can harm people too.
Specifically, some of the chemicals can kill fish, crustaceans and zooplankton -- the base of the ocean food chain. Others can cause cancer and damage reproductive and neurological systems. And some dangerously build up in sea otters.
Urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to ban offshore fracking in our precious ocean -- and, at the very least, honestly complete the environmental review that's required by law.
March 6, 2016 Action Alert ID# 346
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