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Federal agencies halt some drilling and fracking applications in Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest, near Arroyo Seco, California
flickr.com / Digital Film
Los Padres National Forest, near Arroyo Seco, California

The US Forest Service has canceled oil company Carbon California’s applications to drill and frack in the Los Padres National Forest.

Jeff Kuyper with Los Padres ForestWatch, an environmental group, explained the decision will protect the area.

“We’re basically assured that there will be no more fracking in the Sespe Oil Field, or anywhere in the lowest Padres National Forest, while the statewide ban is being finalized,” Kuyper said.

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a method used to extract oil and gas from deep underground. This is done by injecting water, sand, and chemicals into the ground.

In February, state officials drafted a plan to phase out fracking to minimize its negative effects on both human health and wildlife.

Lisa Belenky, with the Center for Biological Diversity, noted that the Los Padres National Forest is ecologically sensitive.

“The chemicals from oil and gas drilling and fracking get into the ecosystem and can get into both groundwater and surface water,” Lisa Belenky said.

Carbon California did not respond to KCBX’s request for comment in time.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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