Governor Brown’s “Resistance” Fails to Protect California Communities
Real Climate Leadership Requires Actions like Maryland’s Ban
April 4, 2017
Sacramento, CA—Maryland’s Republican Governor Hogan today signed historic legislation to ban hydraulic fracturing. California Governor Jerry Brown continues to posture as a climate leader while failing to act on oil and gas extraction in the state. California uses methods like hydraulic fracturing to extract some of the dirtiest oil, dirtier than even Alberta tar sands oil, according to recent research. While the end products may vary between the two states, the extraction process creates similar threats to public health as well as our air and water. People living near oil and gas operations across California today continue to suffer severe impacts due to a lack of common sense safety measures such as health protective buffer zones. Scientists and physicians have long said that fracking cannot be done safely, and Maryland is the third state to ban the practice.
“Polls show a majority of Californians are in favor of passing a ban on extreme extraction practices like hydraulic fracturing,” said Catherine Garoupa White, coordinator for Californians Against Fracking & Dangerous Drilling (CAF). “Our decision makers continue to sit on their hands because of the generous campaign donations and other incentives they get from industry. It’s time for California’s decision makers to put people before profits.”
In the meantime, the Trump administration and the Bureau of Land Management are poised to open up federal lands, which comprise a significant portion of California overall, to new oil and gas leases. In addition, U.S. EPA has failed to act on the dumping of oil wastewater into aquifers. While California continues to enjoy attention for its aggressive rhetoric on climate change, it is home to some of the most polluted and inequitable communities in the United States.
“While Governor Brown keeps talking about climate change, Governor Hogan of Maryland has taken real action by banning fracking,” said Adam Scow, California Director of Food & Water Watch, a member of the CAF coalition. Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all by standing up to corporations and advocating for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment. “With strong support for a fracking ban in California, it is past time for Governor Brown to protect our water, air, and health by banning fracking.” “Maryland is the third state in the nation to listen to scientists and doctors who have been saying for years that fracking can’t be done safely, and put a ban on the practice. Now, as Republican Governors like Hogan get ahead of our own Governor Brown, who often says he listens to the science but has yet to ban fracking, one begins to wonder if the ten million dollars that Brown took from the oil industry over the past 6 years figures into his inaction,” said David Braun of Rootskeeper, a member of the CAF coalition. Rootskeeper is a grassroots training and advocacy organization which pushes against toxic fossil fuel extraction methods by developing and empowering grassroots leaders and networks. It is time for Governor Brown to catch up with the majority of Californians and ban fracking.