OAKLAND — Ahead of the March for Real Climate Leadership, at which 10,000 people are expected to rally against hydro-fracking in California, 350.org Executive Director May Boeve sent the following letter to Governor Jerry Brown encouraging him to attend. Event organizers are expecting the March for Real Climate Leadership to be the largest demonstration against fracking in U.S. history.
Learn more about the March for Real Climate Leadership here: www.marchforclimateleadership.org.
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
We write to inform you that on February 7th, thousands of Californians will gather on the steps of Oakland’s City Hall as part of the “March for Real Climate Leadership” to demand an end to hydraulic fracturing in our state.
We picked Oakland as the site of this march for a reason: for years, you served as the city’s mayor and have long called Oakland home. We need you to understand that fracking threatens our homes, whether we live in a fracking epicenter like Kern County, or someplace else in the state that is reeling from this year’s historic drought, which scientists have linked to global warming, a trend that fracking will only intensify. The March for Real Climate Leadership will feature the voices of people whose health and well-being your policies are putting at risk. As Governor, you have spoken passionately about the need for leadership on climate change, and taken meaningful steps towards reducing carbon emission. Allowing fracking to proceed in California would go a long way towards undoing that work. Real climate leadership requires an end to fracking in our state.
People across California support an end to this dangerous practice. We have seen an outpouring of support for this march, with people across the state planning to travel for hours to attend. This campaign has galvanized the environmental community in California–and they will continue to mobilize until we see an end to fracking once and for all. We are expecting around 10,000 people to join the march in Oakland, but they are just a fraction of the thousands more who will continue to march, organize, and campaign for you to take action.
The case against fracking is clear. First, hydraulic fracturing wastes huge amounts of fresh drinking water as part of the process. Dumping millions of gallons of water down a hole during a drought is a direct affront to the thousands of Californians who are struggling with basic access. Second, the secret mix of chemicals used by the fracking industry threatens our ground water, putting public health at risk. New York State’s Health Commissioner recently stated that he wouldn’t let his children live near a fracking well because of the health risk and advised Governor Cuomo to ban the practice. If fracking is dangerous for the children of New York, it’s also dangerous for the children of California. Third, the health impacts of fracking extend beyond drinking water: the poor air quality in fracked communities contributes to high asthma rates and other respiratory ailments. Fourth, fracking deepens our state’s reliance on fossil fuels, releasing enormous amounts of carbon into the air, and worsening the global problem of climate change. If we are serious about tackling the climate crisis, California should be accelerating its transition to a clean energy economy–not sinking more into the fossil fuels of yesterday. Fracking runs directly contrary to the goal that you set to get 50% of our electricity from renewable resources. We cannot reduce our emissions with one policy, only to increase them with another.
Given these facts, we strongly encourage you to reconsider your position on fracking and ban its use in our state. California simply cannot be respected as a climate leader long as it so blatantly flaunts a practice that deepens our reliance on fossil fuels, releases more carbon into the air, and threatens the health of so many of our neighbors. We therefore urge you to attend the March for Real Climate Leadership, hear Californians make the case against fracking in our state, and then re-evaluate your administration’s position on this issue.
Executive Director, 350.org