Dear Fractivists,

I hope you have had an enjoyable summer so far. I am sorry to drag you back to reality. We have an upcoming urgent matter that needs calls. I have tried only to contact you all to tell you of alerts and much needed rallying. This email explains a lot. Read through, or skip through, but please go to the links at the bottom.

As you may have read, Holly Mitchell’s fracking moratorium bill we all worked so hard to get introduced into the state legislature, made it all the way to the Appropriations Committee where it was gutted and then killed by the Assembly leadership on the floor. The bill failed because 18 Democrats did not vote at all. Even though the delegates at the Democratic Party convention passed a resolution that there should be a moratorium on fracking in California. Even though 58% of Californians polled  wanted a moratorium on fracking.  Even though you and 100,000 plus Californians signed petitions to the Governor saying you want a Ban on Fracking, these Democrats did not heed your call. When asked by CREDO Action members in follow-up phone calls why they did this, many reported they were planning to vote for SB 4, a weak regulatory bill, instead.  Fran Pavley’s  SB 4 is the only Fracking Bill not shelved, and still alive in the legislature. However, there are major problems with this bill.

The problem is, SB 4 will not protect humans, animals, agriculture, or nature, from fracking contamination.  It merely calls for ground water monitoring, permitting, notification, disclosure of chemicals used and a scientific study to be completed by January 1, 2015.  In the original version of the bill, if the study were not completed by that date, a moratorium on new fracking would be imposed.  That inadequate moratorium provision, was ultimately removed at the behest of the oil companies. It would have allowed fracking to go on for 17 months while the study was being done. Can you imagine the FDA allowing drugs to come onto the market before the clinical trials were completed? A lot of damage can be done because of this bill.

The bill states that ground water monitoring to be done before and after a well is fracked, and  is to be conducted by the oil company.  A classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.  As to permitting, the bill would “prohibit the approval of a permit that presents an unreasonable risk or is incomplete,” yet it does not define an unreasonable risk. We already know that fracking fluid includes multiple carcinogens, fracking waste is radioactive and the injection of fracking wastewater causes and exacerbates earthquakes. What greater risk would need to be shown before this bill would prohibit it? As for the full public disclosure that the bill promises, the oil companies are only required to list the names of the chemicals used.  The concentrations and formulas do not have to be disclosed to the public, if the companies claim they are proprietary trade secrets.  As for notification, notifying you when and where they are going to frack and telling you what chemicals they are going to use is like a murderer telling you he is going to shoot you on your front porch tomorrow at noon using an AK 47.  At the end of the day, you’re still dead. There is no “safe” way to monitor fracking. There is not enough man power, and there is already too much payola and corruption in the industry.

The only solution to the harms of fracking is not to frack.  SB4 is worse than meaningless.  By removing the regulatory uncertainty surrounding fracking in California, this bill will  give the oil industry the green light to ramp up fracking while providing the public with a false sense of security that these regulations are protecting them.

Please sign and share my fellow fractvists’s Lauren Steiner’s petition to Fran Pavley, author of SB 4, asking her to withdraw or strengthen her regulatory bill, and fight for a ban instead. We need to get more signatures to her. http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/fran-pavley-withdraw?mailing_id=14271&source=s.em.cr&r_by=1730892

Then call the members of the Appropriations Committee and ask them to vote no on SB4. Tell them the only way to regulate fracking is to Ban It! http://apro.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff

We are waiting for the assembly to reconvene and then we will continue our dialogue with Governor Brown’s office in the coming months.

Hess Corporation and Newfield Appalachia have ended lease agreements with about 1300 property owners covering 70,000 acres in Wayne County, PA. This should be a precedent for the entire country. I hail these responsive companies for making a heroic move, to somewhat redeem themsleves. This is a big victory. It can be done! http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2013/07/16/gas-companies-drop-wayne-county-leases/

Thank you, for your help!

Anyone with web or tech ideas to help, or donations, please contact Citizen’s Coalition for a Safe Community: ccfascdirector@gmail.com

Near Deadlines:

Urgent! Help our Neighbors Now! Whittier California is currently fighting an attempt to undermine a court ruling, fought for by the people of Whittier, to protect public lands. Please sign this petition to LA Board of Supervisors; Oppose Oil Drilling in Whittier Hills Wildlife Preserve : http://www.change.org/petitions/la-board-of-supervisors-oppose-oil-drilling-in-whittier-hills-wildlife-preserve

Please sign petition not to Frack US Public Lands.