Oil Money Out Press Conference & Petition Delivery

 
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

 

Big Oil Praises Governor's Final State-of-the-State Address, Activists Challenge His Oily Policies

Our Press Conference & Petition Delivery
was featured on Pacifica’s Evening News
(story covers @ 14 mins)

David Braun Talks About Oil Money Out
On The Terra Verde Show On KPFA

Why Climate Activists Protested
Jerry Brown’s Swan Song

 

Following Governor Brown’s State of the State address, victims of urban oil drilling joined health professionals and members from the Oil Money Out Campaign (see the full list below) at a press conference on the north steps of the state capitol, delivering 80,000 petitions to Governor Brown calling for oil money out of California politics. 

Gabriela Garcia, People Not Pozos Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Gabriela Garcia, People Not Pozos
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Gabriela Garcia, whose family lives near LA’s oil wells, shared her personal experience and health problems that resulted within her family and community due to living in close proximity of urban oil drilling.

I’ve watched my community suffer enough. It is a human right to breathe clean air, no matter where you live, and I shouldn’t have to tell my children, we can’t walk to the park today because the air in our neighborhood will make us sick.
— Gabriela Garcia, People Not Pozos (People not Wells)

She was joined by Melissa Johnson-Camacho, RN, as well as other experts and advocates, who sent a clear message to Governor Brown demanding he listen to state scientists who have determined in the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) report that fracking and urban oil drilling are dangerous for Californians.

This is a matter of public health. Keeping oil in the ground means this toxic substance and the chemicals associated with extraction won’t cause asthma, heartache and suffering when people are exposed to it. Nurses see the consequences in the emergency room, of drilling too close to homes, of fracking chemicals and of oil waste water poisoning food. It has to stop.
— Melissa Johnson-Camacho, RN, California Nurses Association
Melissa Johnson-Camacho, CA Nurses Association Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Melissa Johnson-Camacho, CA Nurses Association
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

In 2015, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) report, mandated by SB 4, the state’s law on fracking, determined that fracking and urban drilling are dangerous for California. It urged mandatory human health buffer zones around all oil operations to protect public health. To date, none of the scientific recommendations have been implemented, leaving communities and individuals vulnerable to impacts.
 

David Braun, Rootskeeper and Oil Money Out Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

David Braun, Rootskeeper and Oil Money Out
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

What’s the point of doing studies, and then not implement the recommendations? Thanks to independent state scientists, we know oil drilling, which utilizes extremely dangerous chemical agents, is toxic for our water, air and communities. Sadly, the fact that the Brown administration hasn’t made better efforts to enact mandated scientific protections seriously calls into question his environmental leadership, not to mention his legacy.
— David Braun, Director of Rootskeeper and Oil Money Out

According to an analysis of data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, oil companies used more than 98 million pounds — or 49,000 tons — of chemicals known to cause serious health effects in humans (“air toxics”) in Los Angeles County between June 2013 and February 2017. Notably, of the most commonly used air toxics, over 10 million pounds of Hydrofluoric Acid and 120,000 pounds of ethylbenzene were used in drilling operations.

Fossil fuel operations are responsible for over 24,000 lives lost every year in California, and those who take money from the industry are complicit in these deaths. Jerry Brown, we are talking to you. You are not the climate leader you think you are and you are to blame for your inaction. Governor Brown, we demand environmental justice now.
— Noemi Tungui, Food & Water Watch
Noemi Tungui, Food & Water Watch Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Noemi Tungui, Food & Water Watch
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Physicians Scientists and Engineers did a study which similarly analyzed the data collected by the South Coast Air Quality Management district called a “Comparison of chemical-use between hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, and routine oil and gas development”. The data shows that there is significant overlap in chemical-use between so-called unconventional activities such as fracking and acidizing and more routine activities conducted for well maintenance, well-completion, or rework.

 
Public opinion is strongly against fracking because people know that it’s a toxic process, and threatens our air and water. What most people, and even our lawmakers, don’t know is that conventional drilling, such as urban oil drilling, utilizes a similar combination of toxic chemicals, often in the same quantities.
— David Braun, Rootskeeper and Oil Money Out
 

These scientists found that a comparison within the data of the chemicals from fracking versus the chemicals used in conventional operations shows a significant overlap between both types and amounts of chemicals used for well-stimulation treatments included under state's mandatory-disclosure regulations and those used in routine treatments that are not included under state regulations. This means that the use of these toxic chemicals is NOT being regulated by the state.

California has a reputation of leading the fight for environmentally friendly policies, yet the reality is that it has an oil problem. In the 2016 legislative session, the oil industry spent an historic $36.1 million to lobby California lawmakers.

Jerry Brown has refused to start turning off the oil spigot as donations and lobbying dollars continue to flow from Big Oil. It’s time for his actions to match his words decrying the existential threat of climate change. Politicians should say no to money from Big Oil and Brown should say no to any new permits for Big Oil drilling and other infrastructure.
— Liza Tucker, Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog
Liza Tucker, Consumer Watchdog Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Liza Tucker, Consumer Watchdog
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Environmental and public health advocates’ efforts to protect the environment have been thwarted because of the financial power of the fossil fuel industry, and Californians are fed up with pay-to-play politics. It’s time they put the people’s best interest first.

Kate Frisher, Breast Cancer Action Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Kate Frisher, Breast Cancer Action
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

The only way to end fracking and dangerous drilling is by getting oil money out of politics. It’s time for California’s politicians to put public health before profit. We’re more powerful than the corperate dollar, and together we can upend the status quo and put people power at the center of our democracy, not oil money.
— Kate Frisher, Breast Cancer Action

All the mainstream Democratic candidates for governor have signed a pledge to swear off oil money. If Jerry Brown wants to live up to his rhetoric, he needs to demonstrate that real climate leaders prioritize public health over oil industry profits. They don't enable the worst climate polluters and allow drilling to expand.

Oil money has corrupted our democracy in California, still one of the top oil-producing states in the nation despite its efforts to lead on climate. That’s why we experienced the spectacle of the oil industry literally dictating the cap and trade bill, and Jerry Brown acting as Chevron’s stenographer. I’m pleased to have worked on getting all of the serious candidates for our next governor to sign the pledge not to take oil money.
— RL Miller, Climate Hawks Vote
RL Miller, Climate Hawks Vote Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

RL Miller, Climate Hawks Vote
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Senator Ben Allen Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Senator Ben Allen
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

I am proud to be one of the members of the State Senate who has never taken money from the oil industry, from day one, and I continue with that promise because I do believe that we need a different path moving forward, we need a true form of energy independence which is in renewable energy.
— Ben Allen, California State Senator (SD-26)

In his last year in office, the Governor has the power to enact scientifically recommended protections with the swipe of a pen, and right the wrongs that are currently happening in numerous communities around the state, not to mention begin to fix our democracy here in Sacramento. We are calling on Governor Jerry Brown to take bold action to actualize his legacy as a climate leader by standing up to big oil and putting an end to fracking and dangerous drilling in California.

Catering to fossil fuel interests, Governor Brown has refused to reign in the oil and gas operations that harm Californians and drive the climate crisis. We can’t afford to let dirty oil money hold us back from a clean energy future.
— Brian Nowicki, Climate Policy Director, Center for Biological Diversity
Brian Nowicki, Center for Biological Diversity Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Brian Nowicki, Center for Biological Diversity
Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Governor Brown needs to know that his last year in office will make or break his legacy. The Governor needs to know that we aren’t going to accept half measures for the very real problems our state is facing around oil and gas extraction, transportation, refining, and storage. If the governor wants his Global Climate Action Summit next september in San Francisco to be supported by the environmental, health, environmental justice and frontline communities around the state, he is going to have to protect our communities and address the state’s giant oil problem. There is nothing more we’d like to do than celebrate Jerry Brown’s climate accomplishments.

Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

Photo Credit: Dan Bacher

We need our leaders to acknowledge that oil money is a problem. And that in our democracy in the great state of California, we need to get Oil Money Out and People Power In.
 

The 80,000 petitions calling for California politicians to stop taking oil money were collected by CREDO, Center for Biological Diversity, Rootskeeper, Other 98, Friends of the Earth, Daily Kos, Progressive Democrats of America, People Demanding Action, Amazon Watch, Breast Cancer Action, Stand.Earth, Climate Hawks Vote, Earthjustice, Courage Campaign, Food & Water Watch, Greenpeace, RootStrikers, California for Progress, Earthworks, 350 Silicon Valley, Sunflower Alliance, and others.
 

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Oil Money Out Press Conference Livestream
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Oil Money Out Press Conference Livestream
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Recap of our Press Conference & Petition Delivery