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Environmental Groups Take Fracking Fight to Court

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Craig Miller/KQED

Environmental groups looking to put the brakes on the controversial oil and gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing are filing a new lawsuit on Thursday. The suit comes after the groups won a round in court earlier this month.
 
The ruling relates to a federal oil and gas lease auction two years ago in Monterey County, an area where some believe fracking could boom.
 
This month, a judge agreed with several environmental groups that the Bureau of Land Management failed to review the potential impacts on water and land.
 
“This is the first major case that really says the agency needs to take a harder look and needs to do a more thorough assessment than it's done in the past,” says Jayni Foley Hein of the UC Berkeley School of Law.
 
Now, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club are suing again over an 18,000-acre oil lease sale in December.
 
“The more and more decisions that are made leasing out land for oil development, the harder it is, in essence, to put the genie back in the bottle,” says Brendan Cummings, a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We need to slow things down.”
 
Cummings says he’s hoping the court will invalidate the oil and gas leases.
 
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