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Californians Against Fracking

Issue Brief: Fracking and the Food System

The Nation: Fracking and Our Food Supply

Take Part: Can Fracking and Farming Mix in America's Biggest Ag State?

Mint Press: Fracking Industry Eyes An Already Water-Starved California

New York Times: Fracking Tests Ties Between California 'Oil and Ag' Interests

California Chefs & Brewers Join Together to Fight Fracking


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a highly controversial process for extracting oil and gas that has raised serious environmental and public health concerns across the country.

Fracking has been taking place in California, the nation’s leading farm state, for several decades without clear regulatory oversight. Now the Monterey Shale — a 1,750-square-mile area believed to hold as much as 15 billion barrels of crude oil and that sits beneath some of the state’s most prized farmland — is being targeted for a new, more intensive form of fracking and other extreme extraction methods, putting California’s scarce and precious water resources and most prized farmland at serious risk.

I am writing to urge you to join me in taking a stand against fracking in California.

In states already experiencing rampant fracking operations, leaks and spills have damaged crops, killed livestock and sickened the people near drilling operations, which are commonly found in agricultural communities that grow our food.

As chefs, restaurateurs and eaters who cherish and rely on the natural bounty cultivated and cared for by our state’s farmers, ranchers and food producers, we cannot stand by and allow the same fate to befall California’s unparalleled food shed. Our colleagues in New York, Chefs for the Marcellus, have made great strides in keeping fracking from contaminating New York’s food production.

Please join me and support California's farmers in calling on Governor Brown to place a moratorium on fracking now. By signing this important petition, you’ll be adding your name to a list of chefs who care about the provenance of our food, the stewardship of our land and the future of our state’s health.

With hopefulness,

Alice Waters, Executive Chef, Founder and Owner, Chez Panisse

California Food & Beverage Professionals in
Support of a Fracking Moratorium in California

Dear Governor Brown:

We, the undersigned, are members of California’s professional food community — chefs, restaurant owners, brewers, winemakers, purveyors, processors, retailers, authors and educators — who are concerned about the potential impacts of fracking on our livelihoods and those who grow and produce the food we offer our customers, guests and families. We are aware that the oil industry is planning to expand fracking throughout California to places where there has been robust agricultural production. Because of the potential risks to this production, we urge you to place a moratorium on fracking and to undertake a comprehensive study on fracking’s potential impacts to California’s water, air and soil.

The expansion of fracking in California will demand large volumes of water that could come at the expense of agricultural operations. Farmers across California are already coming to grips with dwindling water supply and could easily lose additional supplies to fracking operations. Fracking operations immediately contaminate water by mixing it with up to 500 toxic chemicals to induce the fracturing of the rock. It is estimated that each frack job uses between 500,000 and 3 million gallons of water, which becomes polluted and removed from the hydrological cycle.

In addition to supply, the global demand for California’s oil will likely increase the price of water, to the detriment of farmers. Many small and mid-sized farmers will not be able to compete for water against large multinational oil companies that are willing to pay much higher prices. Oil companies have already begun outbidding farmers for water supply in California, Colorado and other states. Without a reliable water supply, many farmers could be forced to leave farming.

The expansion of fracking could worsen groundwater pollution. Contamination can occur from methane and toxic fracking chemicals, as well as from the transportation and disposal of toxic — and at times even radioactive — wastewater. Once it occurs, it could be impossible or extremely expensive to clean up. Industry documents show that drilling wells routinely fail and that old drilling wells can serve as conduits for pollution to spread across a wide area. Nationwide, there have been over 1,000 cases of groundwater contamination from drilling. Shafter Occidental Petroleum Corporation was recently caught on video dumping fracking fluids next to an almond orchard in Shafter in violation of California law.

This is of great concern to us. Agriculture, food and beverage production, restaurants and tourism are vital, growing and interdependent economic engines that rely on our famously bountiful farmland and family farmers for their success. California’s 81,000 farms produce an annual $43 billion in crops that feed not only our state, but also the nation and the world. We stand to lose this and much more if we allow fracking to continue unabated and unregulated in our state.

We urge you to implement a moratorium now in order to responsibly protect California’s water and agricultural industry.


Alice Waters, Executive Chef, Founder and Owner, Chez Panisse

Add Your Name

If you are not a California chef, restaurant owner, brewer, winemaker, purveyor, food retailer, cookbook author or cooking educator, please sign the petition to ban fracking in Calfornia as a resident of Califoria.




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Alice Waters — Chez Panisse, Berkley

Jerome Waag — Chez Panisse, Berkeley

Authors & Educators 

Maryellen Baker — Food Photographer The Family Dinner Cookbook by Laurie David, Los Angeles

Vanessa Barrington — Author DIY Delicious & Heirloom Beans, San Francisco

Elizabeth Borelli — Author, Beanalicious Living

Charity Ellis — CAMP 510, Oakland

Ali Ghiorse — Savory Thymes, Mill Valley

Joyce Goldstein — Chef/Author Inside the California Food Revolution, San Francisco

Ray Gonzales — Real/Revolution Foods, Oakland

Krista Harris — Editor and Publisher, Edible Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara

Susanna Hoffman — Co-Author Bold/The Olive and the Caper/The Well-Filled Tortilla,  Telluride

Jenny Huston — Farm to Table Food Services, Oakland

Ellen Kanner — Author Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner, Miami

M'Lisa Kelley — Piedmont Unified School, Piedmont

Nathan Lyon — Chef/Author Great Food Starts Fresh, Los Angeles

Samin Nosrat — Chef/Author, Berkeley

Iso Rabins — Forage SF, San Francisco

Ava Romero — Food Blogger, South San Francisco

Marcie Rothman  —  The $5 Chef, San Diego

Amelia Saltmans — Author Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook, Santa Monica

Lorna Sass — Author Cooking Under Pressure Cookbook, Novato

Hank Shaw — Chef/Author, Hunt, Gather, Cook

Heidi Swanson — Chef/Author 101 Cookbooks, San Francisco

Bryant Terry — Author Vegan Soul Kitchen & forthcoming Afro-Vegan, Oakland

Elizabeth Turner — Editor-in-Chief Vegetarian, Los Angeles

Joanne Weir — Copita, San Francisco



Aron Deorsey — Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant, San Francisco

Lars Gilman — Breakwater Brewing Company, Oceanside

Mark Jilg — Craftsman Brewing Co., Pasadena

Joel Johnson — 101 North Brewing Company, Petaluma

Julien Lux — New Glory Brewing Co., Sacramento

Meredith Maier — Six Rivers Brewery, McKinleyville

Dave McLean — Magnolia Pub & Brewery, Berkeley

Tim Mullins — ThirstyBear Brewing Company, San Francisco

Marc Rosenblum — Santa Cruz Ale Works, Santa Cruz

Ron Silberstein — ThirstyBear Brewing Company, San Francisco

Gregory Upton — El Dorado Brewing Company, Diamond Springs

Tanya Wichelmann — Pacific Coast Brewing Company, Oakland



Tom Adamian — Bar Jules, San Francisco

Lindsay Albert — Real Food Daily, Malibu

Matt Amsden —  RAWvolution, Santa Monica

Ryan Anderson — State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Marc Baltes — Boot and Shoe Service, Oakland

Constance Bearden — Chartwells HE/CSU Stanislaus, Turlock

Rebecca Boice — TOAST Kitchen + Bar, Oakland

Tim Bolle — Aramark, Inc., Arroyo Grande

Stuart Brioza — State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Jaison Burke — EAT at The Pearl Hotel, San Diego

Marty Cattaneo — The Alley Los Altos, Los Altos

Jordan Champagne — Happy Girl Kitchen Co, Pacific Grove

Sarah Christopher — Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions, Inc., Los Angeles

Chris Cosentino — Incanto/Boccalone, San Francisco

Chris Crary — CC Concepts Inc., Los Angeles

Dominique Crenn —  Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Matt Davidson —  Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco

Catalina del Canto — Boot and Shoe Service, Oakland

Laurie Dill — Your Local Hive, Los Angeles

Michael Dotson — Martins West, Redwood City

Don Dotter — Cal Berkeley Catering, Moss Beach

Joshua Drew — FarmshopLA, Santa Monica

Wyatt Dufresne — PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn,  Olympic Valley

Adam Dulye — Abbot's Cella, San Francisco

Brett Emerson — Contigo, San Francisco

Jason Fox  —  Commonwealth, San Francisco

Elianna Friedman — CUESA, San Francisco

Natalie Goble — Peter Lowell's, Sebastopol

Suzanne Goin — A.O.C./Lucques, West Hollywood

Ben Harris — Pizzaiolo, Oakland

Bruce Hill — Bix/Fog City/Picco/Zero Zero, San Francisco/Larkspur

Laurence Jossel — Nopa, San Francisco

Ravi Kapur — Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Robin Karlstedt — Mead and Bees, Nevada City

Kelsie Kerr — Good Eggs, Oakland

Chris Kobayashi — Artisan, Paso Robles

Nicole Krasinski — State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Holly Le Du — Culinary Stage Productions, San Pablo

Dennis Lee — Namu Gaji, San Francisco

Polly Legendre — La Gourmande/Polish Partnerships, Oakland

Morgan L'Esperance — Cascada Bar & Grill at Costanoa Resort, Pescadero

Adam Levoe — The Pub at Golden Road, Los Angeles

Gerald Lowe — At home Catering, Guerneville

Louis Maldonado — Spoonbar/Pizzando, Healdsburg

Daniel Mattern — Cooks County, Los Angeles

Joshua Meiseman — Commis, Oakland

Alexander Ong — Chef Alex Ong LLC, Hercules

Joan Pan — Chef, Mountain View

Ravin Patel — Ella Dining Room and Bar, Sacramento

Krystal Peoples — Piccino, San Francisco 

Cal Peternell — Chez Panisse, Berkeley

Stephen Pocock — Boccalone, Oakland

Tara Punzone —  Real Food Daily, Los Angeles

Adam Rosenblum — Flour + Water, San Francisco

Wendy Roskin —  Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts,  Altadena

Peter Rudolph — Madera Restaurant Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park

Julya Shin —  Pizzaiolo, Oakland

Annie Somerville — Greens, San Francisco

Robin Song — Hog & Rocks/Hi Lo, San Francisco

Sandy Sonnenfelt — The Pasta Shop, Oakland

Cal Stamenov — Marinus Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

Brent Stanford — The Councourse, Anaheim

Noah Stein — Pizzaiolo, Oakland

Carrie Sullivan — The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California, Oakland

James Syhabout — Commis/Hawker Fare, Oakland

June Taylor — June Taylor Company, Berkeley

Michael Tuohy  —  Urban Farm Kitchen, Sacramento

David Vardy — Meteor Ovens, Inc., Berkeley

Sascha Weiss — The Plant Cafe Organic, San Francisco

Elizabeth Wells — Chez Panisse, Berkeley

William Werner — Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco



Bruce Kalman — Prime Pickle, Inc., Los Angeles

Kim Katz — KATZ Olive Oil, Napa

E. Michael Noche — Bridge Brands Chocolate, San Francisco

Amanda Inocencio  —  Fortune8 Cookies, San Francisco


Restaurant Owners & Workers

John Clark — Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

Elizabeth DePalmer — State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Ann Gentry — Real Food Daily, Los Angeles

Robert Goldberg — Follow Your Heart, Canoga Park

Farshid Hakim  —  La Provence Patisserie & Cafe, Beverly Hills

Charlie Hallowell  —  Boot and Shoe Service/Penrose/Pizzaiolo, Oakland

Maria Elizaberth Johnston — Zabie's, Santa Monica

Roxana Jullapat — Cooks County, Los Angeles

Robert Klein — Oliveto/Community Grains, Oakland

Daphne Knowles — A Cote, Oakland

Mourad Lahlou — Aziza, San Francisco

Corey Lee —  Benu, San Francisco

Daniel Mayer — Revival Bar + Kitchen, Berkeley

Megan McCollam — Polly's Paladar, Nevada City

Dylan Miller — TriMark Economy, San Francisco

Mollie Moisan — Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, Sacramento

Joanna Moore — AXE Restaurant, Venice

Amy Murray —  Revival Bar + Kitchen, Berkeley

Anthony Myint — Mission Street Food, San Francisco

Eric Nyeste — Proof Grainworks, San Francisco

Thomas Odermatt — RoliRoti, Hayward

Jeff Parker — Food Crew, Inc., Los Angeles

Daniel Patterson — Coi, San Francisco

Arthur Perley — Vino!, El Cerrito

Nicholas Petti — Mendo Bistro, Fort Bragg

Gayle Pirie — Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

Benjamin Roberts — Ella Dining Room and Bar, Sacramento

Jonathan Roberts — PigWizard, Salinas

Aaron Rocchino — The Local Butcher Shop, Berkeley

Monica Rocchino — The Local Butcher Shop, Berkeley

Alexandra Rochman — Ella Dining Room and Bar, Sacramento

Amaryll Schwertner — Boulette's Larder/Bouli Bar, San Francisco

Maxine Siu — Plow, San Francisco

Mark Stech-Novak  —  MSN-RCD, Oakland

Sara Steiner — San Benito Tea Company, Hollister

Craig Stoll — Delfina Restaurant Group/Delfina Osteria Locanda/Delfina Pizzeria, San Francisco

Staffan Terje — Perbacco, San Francisco

Mary Jo Thoresen — Chez Panisse, Berkeley

Nancy Van Tassel — Amazing Grace Bakery, Duluth

Anne Walker —  Bi-Rite Creamery, San Francisco

Jonathan Waters — Chez Panisse, Berkeley

Phil West — Range, San Francisco

Robin Wheelright — the Localist Catering and Culture, San Francisco

Sam White — Ramen Shop, Oakland

Tony Yanow  —  Tony's Darts Away, Burbank



Andrew Colehower — Organic Brand Management, Capitola

Marika Fleeger — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Christopher Fry — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Trac Le — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Liz Martinez — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Fergus McGrath  — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Tom McGuigan — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Patrick Mills —  Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Sam Mogannam — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Chili Montes —  Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Christina Neston — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Montgomery Norton — Paso Robles Food Cooperative, Paso Robles

Katie Rosenfeld — Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco



Rachel Kelley  —  Revolution Wines,  Sacramento

Jeffrey Klopatek — Russian Hill Estate Winery, Windsor

Crista Johnson — Schug Carneros Estate, Sonoma