Opponents of fracking in California win big court victory

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In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal of the U.S. District Court in San Jose ruled on March 31 that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold the leases without properly assessing the threat that fracking could pose to water, fish and wildlife. Some of these leases are within the Salinas River watershed, habitat for endangered Central Coast steelhead.