21:27 GMT01 April 2020
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    Several dozen people gathered in the small Southern California city of Camarillo to protest possible renewal of offshore fracking along the West Coast once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

    PORTLAND (Sputnik), David Burghardt – Several dozen people gathered in the small Southern California city of Camarillo to protest possible renewal of offshore fracking along the West Coast once President-elect Donald Trump takes office, Patrick Sullivan of the Center for Biological Diversity told Sputnik.

    "We had more than 80 people at today's protest," he said Thursday.

    Sullivan, whose group was one of six that organized the rally, said he hopes President Barack Obama will act to protect California’s coastal waters from new drilling as "so many people, including both California senators and Governor Jerry Brown" have asked him to do.

    Thursday’s protest, intended to help shield California from offshore fracking under Trump, took place outside regional offices of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Sullivan said.

    Both agencies are part of the US Department of Interior, where Trump hopes to install congressman Ryan Zinke of the state of Montana as secretary, according to a nomination announcement earlier in the day.

    Protesters marched around the building in a protest that was "loud and energetic” but peaceful, Sullivan stated.

    Fears that offshore fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, could resume in California’s Pacific waters have surfaced since Trump won the presidential election in November.

    "Donald Trump has vowed to vastly expand drilling and fracking across the United States, and he's filling his cabinet with oil industry figures. That’s why we believe his administration would likely approve this permit," Sullivan said.

    In May of this year, the federal government lifted its moratorium on offshore fracking in US waters, a move that precipitated plans by oil company DCOR seek permission to frack an offshore well in the Santa Barbara Channel in 2017.

    Oil companies have federal permission to dump up to 9 billion gallons of waste fluid, including fracking chemicals, into the Pacific Ocean off California annually, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique of extracting shale gas and oil by injecting pressurized toxic liquids into the ground or sea floor. Opponents argue that the process poses numerous health, safety and environmental risks, including the potential for fracking fluids and waste to leach into water as well as the huge volume of water used.

    In California, the Center for Biological Diversity recently warned that any approval of offshore fracking would threaten state residents, beaches and wildlife.


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