‘Gasland Part II’ Director Teams Up With Farmers, Nurses, Environmentalists for
Demonstration Launching Californians Against Fracking
by the Center for Biological Diversity
LOS ANGELES— Anti-fracking filmmaker Josh Fox today will join farmers, public health professionals, environmental and consumer organizations and people living near fracked wells at a Los Angeles protest urging Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking in California.
The protest, starting at noon at the governor’s office at 300 S. Spring Street, also launches Californians Against Fracking, a statewide coalition working to ban fracking, a dirty and inherently harmful form of oil and gas extraction that endangers California’s air, water, wildlife, climate and public health.
Carrying a banner reading “Don’t Frack the Golden State,” protestors will present Gov. Brown with more than 100,000 signatures on petitions urging a fracking ban. Fox will speak at the rally as his new fracking exposé, Gasland Part II, screens across the state.
“I’m proud to be involved with the launch of Californians Against Fracking and stand next to environmental leaders, advocates and ordinary people fighting to protect the Golden State from the dirty and dangerous processes of fracking and drilling,” said Fox. “I look forward to meeting, educating and being inspired by Californians as I travel across the state with Gasland Part II over the coming weeks. If any state can stand up to the influence that the oil and gas industry wields over our elected officials and government agencies and demand a cleaner, renewable energy future, I have hope California can.”
Californians Against Fracking has more than 100 member organizations, including Food & Water Watch; the Center for Biological Diversity; Environment California; CREDO; Democracy for America; the California Nurses Association; Breast Cancer Action; the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment; Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community; Family Farm Defenders; and AFSCME Council 57.
In addition to the Los Angeles protest, Californians Against Fracking will deliver petitions to Governor Brown’s San Francisco office today. Through June 3, Californians Against Fracking will host the Gasland Part II Grassroots Tour across the state (for details, go to http://fwwat.ch/CAFGasland).
“Fracking pollution threatens our air and water and Gov. Brown’s legacy as an environmental leader,” said Rose Braz with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Unless we halt this dangerous practice, methane and carbon pollution from runaway fracking will also undermine California’s efforts to fight dangerous climate change.”
Fracking uses huge volumes of water mixed with industrial chemicals to blast open rock formations and release oil and gas. The controversial technique — currently unregulated and unmonitored by state officials — has been used in hundreds and perhaps thousands of California oil and gas wells.
“Californians are waking up to the fact that the industry-touted financial gains that fracking may bring to the state are limited, temporary and primarily for the industry itself, while the damage could be long lasting and potentially irreversible,” said Food & Water Watch Pacific Region Director Kristin Lynch. “No amount of regulation can change the fact that fracking and drilling jeopardizes California’s communities, natural resources and public health, and Californians across the state are speaking out for a ban.”
Fracking routinely employs numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol and trimenthylbenzene. About 25 percent of fracking chemicals could cause cancer, according to scientists, and others can harm the skin and the reproductive system.
“Big oil companies have California in their sights again,” said Dan Jacobson of Environment California. “This time, they want to unleash fracking, the hugely controversial form of drilling, from San Francisco to L.A. If we allow Big Oil to frack California, we’re facing an environmental nightmare.”
A recent Colorado School of Public Health study found that people living near fracked wells in that state were at greater risk of asthma and other respiratory problems, as well as cancer, caused by air pollutants.
“For decades, Governor Brown has followed in the footsteps of his father and helped lead the fight for clean air and water in California,” said Becky Bond, CREDO’s political director. “He has fearlessly championed clean energy, called for swift action on climate change, and fought to hold corporations accountable for polluting our state’s precious natural resources. These decades of experience make him uniquely qualified to call out the cynics who are advocating that fracked oil extraction is worth risking not only California’s clean water resources but the very climate that makes our planet livable. We’re launching Californians Against Fracking to urge Governor Brown to make the only choice that’s consistent with his and his father’s grand vision for our state — to protect our water and our planet by banning fracking in California.”
Oil companies are gearing up to frack large reservoirs of unconventional shale oil in the Monterey Shale. This formation lies beneath some of the state’s most productive farmland, critical water sources, important wildlife habitat and dozens of towns and cities from the Salinas Valley to the Los Angeles Basin.
Companies often dispose of fracking wastewater using injection wells, which can lubricate fault lines and have been linked by geologists to destructive earthquakes in places like Prague, Okla.