February 28, 2014
Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles City Council was unanimous in its support of a motion for a moratorium on fracking this morning after over 100 presentations were made by its residents who reported complaints ranging from nose bleeds, to headaches, to cracks in their homes associated with when fracking began in the city. Many of the citizens were organized by Californians against Fracking, Americans against Fracking, 350, Credo, Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club CA, Physicians for Social Responsibility LA and other various neighborhood groups who sought representation by City Councilman Paul Koretz District 5 with co-author Bonin District 11. Mayor Eric Garcetti has 10 days to sign to make the motion an ordinance.
Councilman Koretz stated, “Unregulated fracking is crazy- we have seen the danger of earthquakes take place in states that normally don’t have earthquakes, and now we are taking what causes earthquakes where they normally don’t happen, to a place where they do happen.”
Korez continued, “Just wasting this water [used for fracking- as much as millions of gallons per well] is a bad idea already, but turning it into toxic water is absolute insanity. People are getting sick, their homes are cracking; it does makes no sense to continue.”
Co-author Bonin supported the motion by saying, “This is about neighborhood safety, envivronmental justice, and about common sense. The term ‘fracking’ refers to fracturing in an area riddled with earthquakes. This is energy production by Dr Stangelove, this is an experimental technology wildly unregulated by the state.”
Linda Capato 350 national fracking campaign coordinator was excited, “Clearly momentum is building in California. After a year of wildfire and record breaking drought, people are realizing that fracking should have no place in our state’s energy future. Today the LA City Council took the first big step to ban fracking in California’s largest city. Governor Brown should follow their lead. Thousands of Californians will be in Sacramento on March 15th pushing the Governor to stop fracking and protect our communities and climate.”
Governor Brown no response yet
Today’s decision comes just three weeks before a giant anti-fracking rally in Sacramento intended to pressure Governor Jerry Brown into reversing course and honoring his commitments to water conservation, a safer environment and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Strangely enough @govjerrybrown showed only a picture of the Governor taking out papers for re-election and @govpressoffice showed no response. Communications staff did not have a statement prepared.
A National, Worldwide Trend
The vote today comes on the heels of a growing trend of home and land owners becoming ‘fractivists’ – as the list of cities and countries either placing moratoriums or banning is growing around the nation and around the world. The trend within the United States began with Vermont and New York, to Hawaii, and various cities such as Dallas, TX and recently 3 cities in Colorado. An updated list is kept by the Keep Tap Water Safe organization.
Activists were fired up the evening before in a webcast as Bill McKibben was joined by Becky Bond, Vice President and Political Director of CREDO, and three activists, Rodrigo Romo, Anabel Marquez and Javier Cruz from the area outside Bakersfield where most of the state’s well stimulation activity is currently taking place a few hours drive down Highway 5 where San Benito Uprising residents are getting ready to pass what Kate Woods says will be the first ban on fracking in a front line district, Santa Cruz having placed the first city ban following the County of Marin Supervisor’s vote though these two latter are not actually being fracked, whereas San Benito County is.
“If political leaders keep indulging the oil and gas industry in their endless search for new energy sources, the planet is toast,” McKibben said today. “We know fracking sucks water from an already drought-ridden state, pours toxic chemicals into the environment, and is a climate disaster. Governor Brown knows this too, and it’s time for him to act accordingly.”
Recent UCSB Physics graduate Damien Luzzo explained, “the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change, which threatens California’s way of life with long term megadrought, shrinking of Sierra ice and snowpack, wildfires, and sea level rise along California’s iconic coast, such that the scientific consensus has thus asserted that 80% of the world’s known fossil fuels must be left in the ground to avoid further climate destabilization and warming the planet beyond 2º C – a tipping point for our climate.”
Fractivists aren’t resting after today’s victory however, the next step for fractivists will be a visit from well-known Hollywood environmental activist Daryl Hannah and more than 50 organizations are gearing up for the Don’t Frack California rally in Sacramento Saturday, March 15.
Special thanks to Richard Charter