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Fracking Ban-memtum Builds On Both Sides Of The Pond

Local communities that are pushing for a ban on fracking will get a helping hand from the British green energy company Ecotricity, which is launching a new short film this Thursday to boost public awareness about negative impacts of the unconventional gas and oil drilling practice. Meanwhile, here at home the Los Angeles city council has just voted in a moratorium on fracking, and the city and county of Broomfield, Colorado announced that the results of a voter-approved moratorium have been upheld after a recount.

Fracking Bans
Fracking LA by Eric Gustafson

The Ecotricity Anti-Fracking Campaign

Ecotricity is something of a fan favorite over here at CleanTechnica, both because of their stellar green cred and their compelling promotional work.

The new Ecotricity anti-fracking film is the third in a series produced by the unabashedly political company, following the success of its “Dump the Big Six” campaign urging U.K. energy customers to cut their ties with the top six conventional energy suppliers.

The new campaign is in support of Ecotricity’s announcement that it has become the first British energy company to refuse shale gas from fracking. In addition to the online launch, Ecotricity will support the campaign with its solid social media platform. Despite its relatively small size, the company claims that its social media followers number more than almost all of the top six British energy companies.

With characteristic Ecotricity humor the new campaign features flatulent chimneys and the tag line, “Don’t squeeze the last gas out of Britain.”

One target of the campaign is the company Centrica, which announced a major investment in British shale gas last summer on behalf of its British Gas holding.

The battle over British fracking is bound to heat up even more given the events unfolding in Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia, with are bound to roil European energy markets.

Meanwhile, here at home…

Another piece of anti-fracking news comes from Broomfield, Colorado, which was the scene of a furiously contested fracking ban (actually, a five-year moratorium) that narrowly passed in a ballot question last fall.

By narrow, we mean 17 votes. That made the results subject of an automatic recount, which Broomfield has just announced as being upheld by the Colorado 17th Judicial District Court.

The final tally: 20 votes in favor of the moratorium.

The big news out of the US this past week was Los Angeles, where the The Los Angeles city council just voted unanimously to impose a moratorium on fracking within its limits.

That makes LA the largest US city to ban fracking, though there are still some t’s  to cross in the process. The next step is for the city to draft an ordinance and set an effective date.

The moratorium is significant both because of the sheer size of the locality involved, and because the moratorium specifically states that the ban will be in effect until fracking can be proven safe.

There are thousands of derelict wells  as well as a few active ones — who knew? — within Los Angeles, and the concern is that some of those out-of-service wells could be reactivated or “stimulated” with fracking or an acid based treatment.

With the fracking safety question embraced by a major US city, that provides a nice, juicy hook for other local governments to hang their fracking bans on, so stay tuned for more activity to come.

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Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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