Thanks to everyone who worked so hard for so long for this result.

Monterey Becomes First Major Oil-Producing County in California to Ban Fracking

Measure Z - County of Monterey

195/195 100.00%
Vote      Count      Percent
    YES       73,859     56.07%
   NO        57,872      43.93%
    Total     131,731    100.00%

Left to count 1,337 ballots


Cheers.jpgMonterey becomes the seventh California county to ban fracking and the first major oil-producing county to do so. Both the oil industry and citizen groups opposed to fracking have been watching this ballot measure closely. Fracking opponents expect this victory to mark a turning point in California state and national efforts to protect water, land, and the climate from destructive oil operations.

The Protect Monterey County coalition of small businesses, labor unions, teachers, farmers, students, health professionals, and others were outspent by at least 30 to one as oil companies, led by Chevron and Aera Energy, reported spending nearly $5.5 million to defeat the measure. 

Please consider a donation of whatever you are able to afford to help retire the campaign debt. Some volunteers contributed greatly out-of-pocket. Please say Thank You with your contribution.

Please help recycle the signs, they will be used for the next fracking ban initiative by replacing the Z with whatever letter is assigned. Call 831-224-3125 for how to recycle or bring them to the party, (details on the EVENTS page). 

What does Measure Z do?
  • Bans fracking, acidizing, and other risky well stimulation production methods.

Why? The Monterey Shale Formation underlies substantial portions of the County. Oil companies have already used fracking and acidizing in south Monterey County and they view this shale formation as an area for future expansion via fracking and acidizing methods.

  • Bans new, and phases out existing, wastewater injection and wastewater ponds.

Why? The San Ardo oil field produces 328,379 barrels (13.8 million gallons) of toxic wastewater every day. The oil companies reinject 75% of this toxic wastewater back into protected aquifers and treats the remaining third. By phasing out the use of wastewater injection and wastewater ponds over a five-year period, this initiative requires these oil companies to clean all of the toxic wastewater they currently produce.

  • Bans new oil and gas wells within Monterey County.

Why? New drilling relies on new high risk extraction methods, which endanger our water, health, and economy, and greatly increase the potential for earthquakes.

  • This initiative does not prohibit the continuing operation of Monterey County’s 1,500+ existing oil and gas wells. 

No jobs will be lost. In fact, new jobs will be created when the oil companies comply with their responsibility to treat produced wastewater.



Protect Monterey County is a coalition of residents of the Central Coast region working to pass a citizens' initiative to prevent the harmful impacts of extreme oil extraction methods. 

We took action because we had no response from elected officials about the dangers of fracking and other extreme oil recovery methods. 



Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley offices

521 South Main St, Salinas 
(Corner of John St. & Main) 


1340 Munras Ave., Ste. 308


Email us.

Mailing Address:
Protect Monterey County
P.O. Box 1946
Monterey, CA 93942