Fracktivists Deliver the Goods

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by Leslie Layton

Some 20 Butte County anti-fracking activists turned their sky-blue campaign t-shirts inside out Thursday to comply with rules against politicking in the clerk-recorder’s office, and delivered boxes of petitions to the Registrar of Voters.

Frack-Free Butte County activists said they collected 9,802 signatures that would qualify an initiative for the Nov. 4 ballot that, if approved by voters, would ban fracking and other unconventional oil and gas-extraction methods locally. read more

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A Bold, Surprising Vote in Butte County

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Butte County Frack-Free Campaign Group - photo by Karen Laslo
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by Leslie Layton

A majority on the Butte County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to draft an ordinance that would ban fracking, a step that could place this county at the vanguard of a grass-roots movement to halt the practice.

In a surprisingly unscripted move, the supervisors voted 4-1 to consider a comprehensive fracking ban after county staffers research how best this can be done. The vote was applauded by dozens of anti-fracking activists, many of whom had spoken in favor of the more moderate measure that was on the agenda — a recommendation the county amend its zoning code to ensure local oversight of fracking projects. read more

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California to Experiment with Fracking Regulation

Dave Garcia, who has led the fight against fracking in Butte County, poses near a gas-well pump in the nearby Sutter Buttes, where many wells have undergone hydraulic fracturing.
Dave Garcia, who has led the fight against fracking in Butte County, poses near a gas-well pump in the nearby Sutter Buttes, where many wells have undergone hydraulic fracturing.

by Leslie Layton

CHICO –On a recent summer morning, Dave Garcia, the political chair of the Sierra Club’s Northern California Yahi chapter, occasionally interrupted a tour of gas wells in the Sutter Buttes to point out signs of wildlife: a scampering cottontail rabbit, a vigilant red-tailed hawk or whizzing western kingbirds.

Garcia had brought a pair of journalists here to witness fracking in the Northern Sacramento Valley, something that most Northern Californians probably have no idea is underway in this area. The well sites appear almost deserted—there are no gas flares, no trucks moving huge tanks of water, no towering pump jacks. In fact, rarely were people even seen at these electronically monitored stations. read more

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