3 California counties voting on fracking bans

Oct 31, 2014 6:00 PM by News Staff

Voters in three coastal California counties vote Tuesday on measures that would impose bans on fracking and other intensive oil production methods. That's even though slumping oil prices globally are causing oil companies to scale back new production.

Chevron, ExxonMobil and other companies have donated about $7 million to try to defeat the fracking bans in Santa Barbara, San Benito and Monterey counties. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of injecting fluid and chemicals underground at high pressure to force oil out of rocks.

None of the three counties currently are known to host onshore fracking. However, all lie on the Monterey Shale and its vast amounts of oil. The federal government says most of it is financially unfeasible to extract at current oil prices, around $80 a barrel.

A Butte County Citizen's initiative was temporarily stalled by a Sacramento and Marin county law firm earlier this year.

READ MORE: Fracking Wars: Battleground Butte County

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