Three Actions for Earth Day.

Action #1: UPDATED ACTION – Call Newsom. He needs to do more. – This is a tragedy of leadership and vision.

4/26/2021: New action – email Governor Newsom here: First, thank you for declaring a fracking ban to take place in 2024. That’s a great start. However, we urgently need you to issue an immediate moratorium on new oil and gas permits within 2500′ feet of homes, hospitals, schools, and other sensitive receptors. The science has been clear for years. Adults, children, and even unborn babies are injured by their close proximity to oil and gas industry installations. That we allow these toxic sites near enough to harm people is a reflection of our long and shameful indifference to low-income and minority communities. 2500′ is the bare minimum to escape some of the most serious health effects and our state is behind the curve on this issue. Mandatory minimum distances between oil & gas extraction sites and homes, schools, and hospitals are already law in Idaho, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Colorado, and Texas. Please state that all Californians are worthy of this basic health protection, as well.

  • (Environmentalhealthproject) Pregnant women and fracking: A case for special concern.
  • (Stanfordnews) Living near oil and gas wells may increase preterm birth risk, according to Stanford research
  • (environmentAmerica) Report: Children and the elderly at risk from “dangerous and close” fracking
  • (fractracker.org) Impact of a 2500′ oil and gas well setback in California.
  • (denverpost.com) Does living near an oil and gas well increase your risk of cancer? A new Colorado study says yes.
  • (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) Impact of upstream oil extraction and environmental public health: a review of the evidence

Update – News from the legislative front on SB 467.

We failed to secure Senator Eggman’s vote by the end of last week, and as a result, SB 467 will not be able to move forward this year. VISION advocates still see the bill as a success. The bill called for a fracking ban and a managed decline of oil and gas extraction in California. On Friday, the governor announced a fracking ban forthcoming from CalGEM and that CARB would begin planning for a managed decline. With SB 467, we changed the conversation and made that announcement possible. We now have a public process that we can use to protect our communities in the ambitious project of phasing out all oil and gas drilling in the state.

Many are disappointed in the governor’s announcement, which delays the managed decline to 2045, delays the fracking ban to 2024 or 2025, and leaves unaddressed setbacks and environmental racism. VISION shares those concerns, particularly the latter. At the same time, local fights benefit from statewide progress, and Kern County doesn’t get many big wins against oil and gas. Just last month, Kern passed an ordinance greenlighting tens of thousands new oil and gas wells with minimal environmental review. A statewide plan to move in the opposite direction over the next two and a half decades—with the opportunity to intervene and accelerate that timeframe—is a powerful step in the right direction, despite its imperfections, and we are celebrating even as we chart the way forward to end neighborhood drilling.

We now turn our attention to setbacks, emboldened by our win yet frustrated that, once again, communities of color have been told to wait as the state addresses climate change without addressing the inequities that our extractive systems have wrought. We are calling on the governor to issue a moratorium on new oil and gas permits within 2500 feet of homes, hospitals, schools, and other sensitive receptors, and we welcome your voices joining ours in that call. 

Original posts here and here.

Action #2: Tell your federal legislators to invest in infrastructure & create green jobs – The American Jobs Act.

Continue reading “Three Actions for Earth Day.”