Council Will Consider Moratorium (Via State) and Fracking Ban in CityBy Ari L. Noonan @ 4:00 PM June 27, 2012
(See pdf below)
A breakthrough for the loudly protesting opponents of the oil drilling scheme nicknamed fracking – but will it be significant or a blip?
At Monday night’s 7 o’clock meeting in Council Chambers, the City Council has agreed to ponder a resolution asking the state to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until its safety can be determined.
No question this is a major victory for the burgeoning, well-organized hometown anti-fracking advocates who appear to be steadily expanding, if not multiplying.
The impetus for this commitment to undertake what may be a symbolic step can be traced to a state-sponsored fracking workshop in Council Chambers on Tuesday, June 12, that drew an overflowing all-time record crowd.
Inspired or prodded by the Culver City momentum event, Los Angeles City Council members Bernard Parks, Paul Koretz and President Herb Wesson filed a resolution the next day for their Council to petition Sacramento for a moratorium on fracking.
At last glance, it was bogged down in committee.
With the energetic fumes of the June 12 workshop fresh in their nostrils, Culver City activists descended on the City Council the following Monday, pleading for the kind of action to which the Council now has agreed.
At that June 18 meeting, Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper seized the lead as the anti-fracking momentum expanded exponentially. He asked his colleagues to agendize such a resolution, and it was quickly embraced for the July 2 Council meeting.
It was predictable that a topic so dynamic would not glide smoothly, quietly through even the hometown legislative process.
The crowd on the 18th was agitating to bypass a moratorium and institute a ban on fracking in Culver City in the 10 percent of the Baldwin Hills Oil Field it controls, and anywhere else within the city.
A City Hall source familiar with the process said she is “certain that it will upset some people that Monday’s meeting is in two parts – to consider the moratorium first and then a ban. Some anti-fracking will want to do the banned-in-Culver City portion before turning to the moratorium. They will say a moratorium is inadequate and a fracking ban is needed in Culver City.”