Gov. Jerry Brown: Fracking Ban ‘Doesn’t Make a Lot of Sense’

California Governor Jerry Brown joined NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. During his appearance, the Governor reaffirmed his commitment to combating climate change and made clear that a symbolic and counterproductive ban on hydraulic fracturing would not advance that goal. When host Chuck Todd asked whether the amount of water used in the fracking process is reason enough to ban it,  the Governor pounced, using facts rather than anti-fracking rhetoric:

“No, not at all. First, fracking in California has been going on for more than 50 years and uses a fraction of the water of fracking on the east coast for gas particularly. This is vertical fracking for the most part. It is different. California imports 70 percent of our petroleum products; our cars drive over 330 billion miles mostly on petroleum.  If we reduce our oil drilling on California, which a ban on fracking would do, we’ll import more oil by train or by boat, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. What we need to do is to move to electric cars, more efficient buildings and more renewable energy and in that respect, California is leading the country and some would say even the world and we’re going to continue moving down that path.”

Gov. Brown is one of the nation’s most celebrated environmentalists who has repeatedly clashed with the oil and gas industry over his long political career. But even he thinks “ban fracking” groups are too extreme. Take a look at this Food & Water Watch blog post, where an anti-fracking activist recounts her run-in with Governor Brown:

“Before I made my way off of the airplane, I took the opportunity to have a short chat with our governor [Jerry Brown] from an empty seat across the aisle. …

Brown immediately put up a wall and went on the defensive: ‘that’s not true,’ he told me. ‘Fracking can be done safely and has been happening here for 60 years.’ And, ‘what do you want to do? Ship in all this oil from Saudi Arabia instead?’”

Elsewhere, Brown has put it more bluntly, saying anti-fracking activists “don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”


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