It is the second year in a row that the West Coast US state legislature has voted down a temporary ban on the controversial completion practice.
The measure failed with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans in defeating the bill, Reuters reported.
“This is the second time a house of the California state legislature has soundly rejected a moratorium on a routine practice that’s been deemed safe repeatedly,” said Dave Quast, California director of Energy in Depth, an oil industry-backed group.
He said fracking in California creates jobs, increases state revenue and lessens the state’s dependence on oil imports.
Fracking opponents chided the “shamelessly unprincipled” Democrats who sided with the oil industry by blocking the moratorium.
“The overwhelming majority of Californians who support a moratorium on fracking will not stop fighting fracking and the public health risks, earthquakes, and climate change linked to this toxic extraction process,” said Zack Malitz of California-based progressive group Credo, according to Reuters.
Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who fracking foes hope will halt the practice with an executive order, is a vocal supporter of the completion process that has unlocked untold resources in other parts of the US.
Brown said as recently as this month that fracking is good for the state because it is better to produce oil in California than import it. However, earlier this month, the US Energy Information Administration downgraded the amount of recoverable oil in the California’s Monterey shale formation by 96%, citing production difficulties at initial wells.
In the absence of statewide action, the city of Beverly Hills and the county of Santa Cruz recently voted to ban fracking even though no fracking proposals were on the table in either place. Other areas of the state are considering taking similar stands against the practice