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CA Judge: Administration 'Completely Ignored' Environmental Risks Of Fracking

  • 07.15.13 10:07 AM EDT

A judge has ruled that the Obama Administration broke the law when it leased land for fracking in central California without fully considering the environmental implications. The ruling concerns two massive tracts of land in Monterey County which lay atop the Monterey Shale Formation -- an area that the Energy Department says contains 15 billion barrels of oil -- nearly two-thirds of all US shale oil reserves. The land was leased by the administration for oil and gas extraction.

Environmentalist groups pushed the judge to ban fracking outright. The ruling fell short of that goal; instead, the judge ordered a more thorough environmental review.