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Fracking foes in California shift focus toward local limits

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Fracking foes- California fracking opponents, frustrated in their push for a statewide ban, are going local.

Santa Cruz County last month slapped a moratorium on the controversial oil and gas production technique. Two members of the Los Angeles City Council have introduced a proposal to do the same. And they hope surrounding cities, some of which sit atop the oil fields of the Los Angeles Basin, follow suit.

"There are probably just two or three pieces of legislation I've ever introduced where random people thank me for it everywhere I go," said Councilman Paul Koretz. "I think if we were to pass this measure, we'd be hearing from cities across the country."

Foes of hydraulic fracturing have been pushing state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown to impose a statewide moratorium on the practice, which uses a high-pressure blend of water, sand and chemicals to crack underground rocks containing oil or natural gas.

But bills to block fracking outright died in Sacramento this summer. Instead, Brown threw his weight behind legislation to regulate fracking, signing the bill into law last month. And while the governor has said little in public about the practice, the state's top oil and gas regulator recently told a conference in Santa Clara that Brown supports hydraulic fracturing.


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