Groups Ask for Support of Senate Bill to Temporarily Halt Risky Oil/Gas Extraction Method
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – Members of various San Diego community groups gathered at the San Diego Administrative Building downtown to urge Governor Brown to ban fracking, a fossil fuels mining technology that may present substantial risks to Californians, and support Senate Bill 1132. Governor Brown was in town to unveil his revised budget plan, as part of a tri-city tour, and although he acknowledged the groups and offered them support for fracking legislation, he was short on specifics. In a state-wide coordinated effort, he was also confronted in Sacramento and Los Angeles by groups concerned about fracking.
Many reports on fracking in other states suggest it does far more harm to our health, environment, and economy than reported, far outweighing its economic benefits. Numerous groups are seeking public support of SB1132, that calls for a moratorium on fracking until thorough studies can be conducted to assess the risks.
Some of our knowledge about the risks comes from people visiting our city, explained SanDiego350’s Nicole Peill-Moelter. “At the April Balboa Earth Day fair I had a woman from Oklahoma City approach me at our SanDiego350 booth. She said she was very aware of fracking because they started having earthquakes of magnitude 4.8 and higher once fracking operations started there. They didn’t have earthquakes before that. I would think that, of all people, Californians would want to understand the risks of earthquakes induced by fracking before we allow it. But it’s already happening. We are at risk now,” she said.
Emily Wier, who also volunteers for SanDiego350, said that people are starting to realize how precious California’s water supply is. “It’s vital to our multi-billion dollar agricultural industry, our health and well-being. Why would we want to allow fracking which irreversibly contaminates this very water supply – with toxins, carcinogens, and hydrofluoric acid?”
Others confronting the governor said he sometimes seems to be for the fossil fuels industry until he speaks to an environmental group, when he seems to modify his view. “Governor Brown comes to town today during yet another week of abnormally high temperatures and severe drought and fire warnings. Our county is like a tinder box and we could have a terrible fire any day. These conditions are exacerbated by human caused climate change driven by our continued fossil fuel dependency. Governor Brown must realize he can’t be both a climate leader and a Big Oil champion. We call upon our Governor to stand up, be a true leader and ban fracking to save our water and climate,” said Peg Mitchell of San Marcos, a member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby.
SanDiego350 has reported there are serious potential risks to Californians that include:
1) Earthquakes. Seismic activity has increased 1100% since 2005 in states such as Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma correlated to fracking operations;
2 Water contamination. Nationwide, fracking operations have used at least 250 billion gallons of water that, unlike other industries, is irreversibly contaminated. There are countless examples of where fracking operations have contaminated ground water for drinking and farming. Kern County farmer, Tom Frantz lost his entire almond farm due to fracking contamination of ground water.
3 Air pollution. Communities near fracking operations, including Culver City, CA, have suffered from ailments such as nose bleeds, nausea, dizziness, and severe headaches. Pollution is also generated from truck traffic that transports water, sand, chemicals, waste water and oil product – on the order of 2,000 truck trips per well.
4 Property values. Fracking operations have lowered nearby property values. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson joined a lawsuit to stop construction of a water tower used in fracking operations near his Texas home because of his concern about devaluation of his property.
5 Climate change. Monterey shale oil is as dirty as Alberta tar sands in terms of carbon content that, according to climate scientists, cannot be burned if we are to stay below a 2°C global average temperature increase.
SanDiego350.org, an all-volunteer organization, is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. We work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are loosely affiliated with 350.org, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us. General media contact Jeffrey Meyer, 858-217-6833.