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Though it provides access to natural gas, fracking can pollute both air and water, putting citizens living in fracking sites at potential risk.

Sara Natividad
Special to Mustang News

Don’t Frack California is trying to mobilize the largest organized march on Sacramento against hydraulic fracking on March 15 at 1 p.m.

A bus will leave the Madonna Inn Plaza near the Big 5 parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and return later that night for anyone who pays $25 to cover transportation expenses and banners for the event.

Fracking is a process for extracting natural gas. During a time where gas prices are rising, many people support the process, which allows the U.S. to be more energy independent.

However, it also uses millions of gallons of water to carry out, potentially polluting the air and water. Some videos have shown footage of people in fracked areas setting fire to their kitchen sink because of the contaminated water.

“It’s especially a problem in California,” agricultural and environmental plant sciences senior Lucas Carlow said. “We are in a drought, and fracking needs a lot of water to extract natural gases. It really is trading in clean water for fossil fuels.”

California’s Monterey Shale is one of the potential fracking sites and is estimated to contain 13.7 billion barrels of oil. Don’t Frack California is demanding that a moratorium be placed on fracking until the lasting effects of the procedure are understood.

“It’s the biggest thing that Californians have done so far in one organized effort to try and make some sort of step forward,” Carlow said. “It’s trying to get people conscious about the idea. I’m definitely going and I encourage other students to be active and attend.”

Students interested in the cause may be deterred by the scheduling of the march — the Saturday before finals — but it’s only one day, Carlow said. And, he added, they can always study on the bus.

Any questions can be emailed to Jeanne Blackwell, founder of SLO Clean Water Action, who endorses the march and is in charge of transportation from San Luis Obispo. Blackwell was unavailable for comment, but can be reached at

More questions may be answered at Don’t Frack California’s website.

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