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Thousands of Californians Confront Gov. Brown at Anti-Fracking Protest

Farmers, Health Advocates, Environmentalists From Across State Converge on Sacramento Today to Urge End to Oil Industry's Toxic Technique

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Driven by growing concerns about earthquakes, air and water pollution, and climate change, thousands of Californians from across the state are protesting today in Sacramento to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to stop fracking.

Organized by the statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking and more than 80 individual environmental and public health organizations, the protest and march feature speakers from around California who are forced to live with fracking in their communities and are organizing to end the use of this toxic way of producing oil and gas.

See photos from the rally here and speaking list here.

"People need to know what fracking looks like," said Rodrigo Romo, a former farmworker and activist in heavily fracked Shafter, CA who will be speaking at the rally.

"In the Central Valley there is no buffer between fracking sites and our community; there are wells next-door to schools and agricultural land. It is time for our decision makers to listen to us and stop fracking."

Gov. Brown's administration recently issued oil industry-friendly rules that give a green light to the harmful practice. Farmers, health professionals, environmental experts, residents from impacted communities and activists from throughout the state are urging the governor to end fracking to protect the state's air, water, health and climate from fracking pollution. Fracking blasts huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock formations.

A new report finds that a fracking boom in California would increase earthquake risk. On Shaky Ground: Fracking, Acidizing, and Increased Earthquake Risk in California found that oil companies are driving up the threat of damaging quakes by injecting billions of gallons of wastewater from fracking and other oil and gas activities into disposal wells near active faults around Los Angeles, Bakersfield and other major cities.

New fracking and acidization techniques are opening up new sources of dirty oil in California's Monterey Shale formation to extraction and combustion, threatening the state's leadership on climate. Fracking also uses vast amounts of water and threatens to pollute water supplies at a time when California faces a devastating drought.

Birth defects are more common in babies born to mothers living near fracked wells, according to a new Colorado School of Public Health study. In California, a recent report found that fracking and acidizing operations employed 12 dangerous "air toxic" chemicals hundreds of times in the Los Angeles Basin over a period of a few months.

Video of the rally will be available tomorrow morning at Dontfrackcalifornia.org

 

Quotes from Organizations Leading Today's Rally:

350.org

"Thousands of Californians are at the Capitol today urging Governor Brown to legislate against this toxic practice. Talking about being an environmental leader who is working to address climate change and actually being one are two different things. And we intend to be a thorn in his side until he makes the right decision for those he serves." Linda Capato, 350.org's fracking campaign leader.

Center for Biological Diversity:

"Protecting California from fracking pollution might be the most important task of Gov. Jerry Brown's long political career," said Rose Braz of the Center for Biological Diversity. "The governor has to stop the oil industry's use of this toxic technique in our communities and beautiful wild places. If he doesn't act fast to ban fracking, the damage to our air, water and climate could tarnish the Golden State forever."

Center for Race, Poverty & the Environment:

"As an organizer I know that the only way we are going to create change is with one united voice, like we did with Cesar Chavez," said Lupe Martinez, the assistant director of Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and former member of the United Farm Workers Union trained under Chavez. "If Cesar was here, he'd be telling Governor Brown to do the right thing."

CREDO:

"Last weekend, Governor Brown heard from the Democratic Party faithful that he is on the wrong side of his political base when it comes to fracking," said Zack Malitz, CREDO's campaign manager. "This weekend, as thousands of people flood the streets of Sacramento, he'll find out that Californians' opposition to fracking runs even deeper than what he saw at the convention. Gov. Brown must keep his promise to lead a crusade against climate change -- starting with a ban on fracking -- or continue facing escalating protests by the very same Californians he is urging to confront climate change and the fossil fuel industry."

Food & Water Watch

"Enacting a moratorium is the only way for Governor Brown to protect California's people, water, and climate from the threat of fracking," said Food & Water Watch California Director Adam Scow. "Today's gathering showed the movement to ban fracking in California is growing bigger, stronger, more diverse, and more inspired than ever before. The pressure on Governor Brown will only increase until he does the right thing."

SanDiego350.org

Our San Diego County farmers cannot sustain their crops with oil. Water is essential to survival for all of us. We know how to get off fossil fuels if we have the political backbone to do so. California must lead."

Oil Change International:

"What's clear from Saturday's rally in Sacramento is that the movement to stop fracking in California is something the Governor would be foolish to ignore," said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. "Big Oil may have lots of money to throw around the state, but as we saw on Saturday at the rally, this movement is energized, committed, and not going anywhere. The Governor can choose to stand with these concerned Californians and stop fracking in our state, or he can continue to stand with Big Oil. The correct choice was made abundantly clear on Saturday."

SOURCE 350.org

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