"California Court Ruling Gives Hope To Foes of Fracking"

"A court ruling that the U.S. government must consider the environmental impact of 'fracking' on federal lands leased to oil companies offers opponents of the technique a useful weapon in the fierce public debate in California and other parts of the country."

"In a regulatory setback for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, a federal magistrate judge in San Jose, California, on Monday ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to analyze its impact on 2,500 acres in Monterey County.

While energy lawyers were skeptical about the ruling's long-term impact, it was hailed as a victory for environmentalists trying to stop fracking in the state due to concerns about its groundwater impact and the potential for increased fossil fuels output contributing to climate change.

The ruling could even inspire environmental groups to sue the BLM in other states as oil companies accelerate their leasing of federal lands for fracking, said Brendan Cummings, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity."

Rory Carroll and Braden Reddall report for Reuters April 10, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 04/10/2013