Activists to governor: Please un-frack California

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Activists with the newly formed Californians Against Fracking coalition congregated in front of the state building yesterday.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

A statewide coalition of more than 100 environmental organizations has formed to pressure California Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking – an environmentally harmful oil extraction method technically known as hydraulic fracturing.

On May 30, environmental activists from the Center for Biological Diversity, Credo Action, Food and Water Watch, Environment California and other nonprofits rallied outside the state building on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco to launch the campaign and hand-deliver stacks of petitions calling on Brown to put an end to the practice. The action coincided with a similar show of opposition to fracking at the state building in Los Angeles.

Fracking has already taken off in Pennsylvania and North Dakota, and has the potential to transform vast swaths of landscape in California, where a geologic formation known as the Monterey Shale is estimated to contain some 15 billion barrels of oil.

With chants of “Jerry Brown, take a stand, don’t let frackers ruin our land,” the activists waved signs proclaiming, “Don’t frack California.”

“In California, water is more precious than oil,” said Becky Bond, political director at Credo Action. “It’s not just a question of will this produce some jobs.”

Bond added that the activists were targeting Brown because “we know that special interests have so much more influence in the Legislature than they do in the governor’s mansion.” And besides, she added, “even if good legislation passes, it ends up on the governor’s desk.”

Earlier in the week in Sacramento, legislation that would have imposed an indefinite moratorium on fracking was scaled back, much to the dismay of environmentalists. AB 1323 was introduced by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, and would have imposed a statewide moratorium on fracking until an independent evaluation of the health and environmental impacts of the practice could be completed.

However, changes to the language of the proposed bill did away with the independent evaluation process and called for a moratorium only until the California Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources finished hammering out a set of regulations around the practice. A similar piece of legislation to impose a fracking moratorium, AB 1301, was kept on suspense file and won't move forward this year.

“It renders the moratorium essentially meaningless,” Food and Water Watch political director Adam Scow told the Bay Guardian shortly after the changes were made. “We have a bill that is inadequate for protecting Californians from fracking.”

And that's partly why Brown is the new target for anti-fracking activists. Elijah Zarlin, a campaign manager at Credo, jumped on the megaphone during the rally. “We’ve seen what fracking has done in Pennsylvania,” he said. “Governor Brown has the power to not let that happen in California.”

Comments

Given O&G hype and inaction by the legislature, most Californians are unaware and/or inaccurately informed about this new technology, which threatens our state: economy, environment, agriculture, seismic stability, and recreational and other tourist attractions that make us the envy of most of the world. Go see Gaslands II by Josh Fox, which is now being shown privately around the state, but will be aired by HBO on July 8.

Posted by Guest Theodora Crawford on Jun. 03, 2013 @ 9:24 am

Adapt or die. Grid operators, like PG&E, in Ontario, Canada pay homeowners who feed solar onto the grid $0.79 kwh. Which they then sell to steel mills and electric train services.

PG&E operates a grid. We homeowners who harvest solar & feed it onto the grid must be paid $0.54 kwh for all our surplus we feed onto the grid.
All we have to do to save PG&E is to demand SF pass a solar Feed-in Tariff to require PG&E to pay anyone feeding solar onto the grid @ $0.54 kwh. This rate will make installing solar an attractive investment, because it will repay the cost of buying solar panels, in 7 years. This will create millions of solar jobs. This is the most effective way to stop the XL pipeline, Nukes & Fracking. Germany has shut down half their nukes and created a half million solar JOBS using a FiT.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2013 @ 10:48 am

The best way to stop fracking, is to shift our economy to 100% solar.

Posted by Dr. Paul Kangas on Jun. 03, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

It is more powerful to offer a solution, such as they have in 69 nations around the world: the solar feed-in tariff that requires PG&E to pay home owners $0.54 kwh for harvesting solar.

Petition for a Solar Feed-in Tariff. ( Get FiT )
To: Mayor ___________ & Governor Brown

Signed by Bill McKibben & 3,000+ activists.

We need a solar Feed-in Tariff to require PG&E to pay anyone feeding solar onto the grid @ $0.54 kwh.

This rate will make installing solar an attractive investment, because it will repay the cost of buying solar panels, in 7 years.

This will create millions of solar jobs.

This is the most effective way to stop the XL pipeline, Nukes & Fracking.

Germany has shut down half their nukes and created a half million solar JOBS using a FiT.

Ontario, Can. pays $0.80 kwh.

Gives the people economic power.

Posted by Dr. Paul Kangas on Jun. 03, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

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