California state assembly member Das Williams, along with seven other state legislators, has asked the federal government to investigate reports of oil companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing on California’s coastal seabed.
Williams sent a letter to the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency requesting regulators look into the reports.
The request comes after The Associated Press reported companies were using fracking to explore for oil and gas at the Santa Barbara seabed.
A Freedom of Information request by the news agency revealed that federal regulators have allowed at least twelve oil instances of offshore oil extraction by fracking since the 1990s, without consulting with the state of California administration.
According to a Business Insider article, the federal government has even exempted offshore fracking chemicals from US clean water laws.
This is being done without scientists having any clue about the effects of fracking chemicals on the seawater, surrounding riparian and coastal interface zones.
"Hydraulic fracturing poses great potential dangers to our sea life and all California residents. This controversial well-stimulation technique needs greater scrutiny, particularly when it potentially jeopardises our coastal way of life," Williams said.
The Santa Barbara Channel was hit with an oil spill in 1969 that caused widespread death among birds and ocean life.
Image: Legislators fear companies have conducted offshore fracking in California. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.