San Benito County

Hydraulic fracturing documentary draws in San Benito residents

"Triple Divide" airs in Aromas

AROMAS, Calif. - As the lack of rain continues to be an issue in California, more and more resistance is growing against fracking. According to the Coalition to Protect San Benito, hydraulic fracturing uses millions of gallons of water.

"Our county depends 100 percent on groundwater at this point. And if that gets contaminated or too much of it is used, than the things that really do support our county - agriculture and tourism - will all be put at risk," said Andy Hsia-coron with the Coalition To Protect San Benito.

And to help spread the word about the potential dangers of fracking, a group of filmmakers put together a documentary called "The Triple Divide." It's a film that shows how the state of Pennsylvania reportedly failed to protect people, communities - and the environment.  

"This campaign is going to be won by the citizens. Saying we decide our future in this county, not outside oil companies," said Hsia-coron.

The Coalition To Protect San Benito has a petition circulation, it already has over 4,000 signatures. But while the coalition disagrees with fracking, the "No on Measure J" campaign says the measure is misleading.

"Although it's being proposed as a ban on hydraulic fracking, it's really much more. It's really dangerous to our community, and it goes too far," said Kristina Chavez Wyatt, the spokesperson for "No on Measure J."

Supporters of hydraulic fracturing say it's about being energy independent and could bring in more jobs.

"People fear what they don't know and what they don't understand, and the fact is hydraulic fracturing is not being used here, it's not planned here and it's not being proposed here," said Wyatt.

But it has proven to be a controversial issue not just on the Central Coast, but around California. In the end the voters will make the decision on Measure J come November.

"Triple Divide" is a documentary by Public Herald nonprofit journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman.

Joshua Pribanic told News Channel 5 "...neither Public Herald or "Triple Divide" filmakers explain or express the film to be anti-fracking within any of our promotions or production material. We are investigative journalists and this film is an investigation, not a declaration of our position as an organization on the issue." 

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