Los Angeles is the largest city in the U.S. to place a moratorium on fracking.
City council unanimously voted Friday afternoon to send a moratorium motion to the city attorney’s office to be written as a zoning ordinance. It will then return to council for a final vote.
A tweet from city councilman Mike Bonin moments after the vote expressed the gravity of the action:
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) February 28, 2014
Friday’s motion places a moratorium on fracking and other “well stimulation” practices at drilling sites until the city verifies that fracking does not compromise residents’ personal safety or the drinkability of their water. That could come in the form of state or federal regulators providing protections or declaring fracking to be safe. Who knows when, if ever, that will take place.
The vote also makes Los Angeles first oil-producing city in California to ban fracking technologies.
“We congratulate the Los Angeles City Council for supporting the L.A. fracking moratorium motion, a strong step toward protecting the people of Los Angeles from severe health and environmental impacts,” said Adam Scow, California’s director of Food & Water Watch. “We urge the city attorney to stand by the motion’s strong language and set a powerful and positive example for other communities and Gov. [Jerry] Brown, who should immediately enact a statewide moratorium to protect all Californians.”