Is Governor Jerry ‘Tunnel Vision’ Brown Letting California Get Fracked?

securedownloadHuge oil and gas corporations, backed by the powerful Western States Petroleum Association, have already begun the environmentally destructive practice of fracking in California – and Governor Jerry “Tunnel Vision” Brown is doing nothing to stop them.

Even worse, the Brown administration has released draft regulations that will allow these oil and gas companies to continue to frack with little to no oversight, reported Adam Scow, California Campaigns Director of Food and Water Watch.

“Because Governor Brown refuses to protect us, we need our state legislators to step up and take action,” said Scow. He urges people to tell the legislators that we need them to support legislation to ban fracking in California.

Write your State Assemblymember and State Senator here.

“Fracking, the process to extract oil or gas by blasting toxic chemicals, water, and sand into deep underground rock, is now underway and slated for massive expansion across California, including places that are sources of drinking water for millions of people,” noted Scow. “Nationwide, fracking has developed an extensive record of water and air pollution, and people who live near fracking sites are getting sick.”

Scow said the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has released draft regulations that require some disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process.

“These weak regulations will not prevent the chemicals from poisoning our water and air, and they demonstrate that Governor Brown and DOGGR are siding with corporations over Californians,” said Scow. “Since DOGGR is doing nothing to protect us, we need our legislators to stand up and take action. Tell your state legislators to support legislation to ban fracking before it’s too late.”

“It’s time for our state legislators to step up,” Scow emphasized. “They cannot sit silently as oil and gas companies dump toxic chemicals into our water, pollute our air, and destroy our neighborhoods. Tell your representatives that they need to step up and support legislation today!”

Over 600 wells in at least nine California counties were fracked in 2011 alone. Recent advances in fracking techniques are driving a growing interest in the Monterey Shale, a geological formation holding an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil.

Fracking is not the only bad environmental policy that Governor Jerry Brown is advancing. Brown has continued and expanded Arnold Schwarzenenegger’s war on fish, fishing communities and the environment.

Brown has fast-tracked many of Schwarzenenegger’s worst environmental fiascos, including the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels and the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPA) that created “marine protected areas” that don’t protect the ocean. The construction of the peripheral tunnels will hasten the extinction of Central Valley chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other fish species.

Burt Wilson of Public Water News Service asks if oil companies seeking to benefit from fracking will benefit most from the construction of the Delta tunnels.

“The State of California, its water agencies, southern cities and valley farmers and water rate-payers are on the verge of spending upwards of $50-billion to build twin tunnels in the Sacramento/San-Joaquin Delta to send more Northern California water south,” said Wilson. “Presumably, this water will go for urban and agricultural use, but don’t bet on it. California oil companies are already angling for their share of Delta water to use for hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – on new shale wells in the lower central valley and coastal areas. (http://www.c-win.org/content/burt-wilson-will-oil-companies-benefit-most-delta-tunnels.html)

Ironically, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association who is now lobbying for increased fracking in California, served as Chair of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force that developed alleged “marine protected areas” in Southern California. It is no surprise that these “marine protected areas” fail to protect the ocean from oil drilling and spills, pollution, military testing, wind and wave energy projects and all other human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

Not only has Brown continued Schwarzenegger’s BDCP and MLPA fiascos, but he has surpassed Schwarzenegger in his apparent zeal to destroy Delta fisheries by exporting a record amount of water out of the Delta in 2011. This resulted in the “salvage” of a record 9 million Sacramento splittail, along with over 2 million other fish.

dan bacherMeanwhile, the numbers of six Delta fish species including Delta and longfin smelt plunged in the Fall 2002 Department of Fish and Wildlife midwater trawl survey on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. ]Again, write your State Assemblymember and State Senator:

For more information, go to here.

Dan Bacher

MONDAY, 4 FEBRUARY 2013

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