September 11, 2018 - 4:21 PM EDT
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When Governor Jerry Brown convenes his Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week, he'll be met with energetic protests from grassroots groups determined to highlight his hypocrisy on climate change, says Consumer Watchdog

As Governor Brown signed into law SB 100 yesterday to decarbonize the grid by 2045, the Brown's Last Chance campaign took the opportunity to highlight his failure to address in-state oil production, issuing the following statement

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Brown has consistently failed to address the supply side of oil and the drilling in California, which is an indispensable step to avoid the worst effects of climate destruction.

More than 5.4 million Californians live within a mile of at least one oil or gas well, including hundreds of thousands of children who live within feet of drilling operations. Many suffer illnesses from toxic exposure and cannot wait for action.

Brown's failure to begin phasing out fossil fuel production by setting a 2,500-foot barrier between oil drilling and community residents is a massive moral failure from which no bill signing can distract. Despite his signing of an important and historical bill he did nothing to draft or support, Governor Brown can expect to be greeted with large-scale, sustained protest at the Global Climate Action summit this week.

Additionally, a weak cap-and-trade program that largely exempts refineries and allows polluters to continue to pollute undermines the executive order Brown issued to make California carbon neutral. Reckless extraction policies that continue under Brown hurt frontline communities without addressing what Brown himself calls the "existential crisis" of climate change.

Here's why:

Jerry Brown has positioned himself as a climate leader – warning of "extinction" and "existential threat" at climate conferences around the globe – but his record as governor tells a different story.

The potential carbon emissions from the oil, gas, and coal in the world's currently operating fields and mines would take us beyond the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. But here's an inconvenient truth about Brown that most people don't know: Under Brown, California has approved more than 20,000 permits for oil and gas drilling. California crude is some of the dirtiest and most polluting oil in the world, comparable to climate-destroying tar sands.

Brown's enablement of the fossil fuel industry's worst practices undercuts the state's climate progress and it throws California's most vulnerable communities under the bus.

More than 5.4 million Californians live within a mile of at least one dirty oil or gas well.  Wells are disproportionately located in low-income communities and communities of color already suffering from some of the worst air quality in the nation. Brown has ignored invitations to tour these communities, and he's rejected calls to establish basic protections – like buffer zones – to reduce the destructive effects of fossil fuel extraction on human health.

Refusing to rein in California's drilling free-for-all, Brown dwells on abstract, elite "market-based" schemes that are doomed to fail.

Though Brown may have planned to polish his climate laurels at the Global Climate Action Summit, he will instead find them challenged – vigorously. The message to world leaders and the climate community will be loud and clear: Politicians like Gov. Brown who give lip service to the climate crisis while continuing to serve the fossil fuel industry will be challenged rather than celebrated.

The Brown's Last Chance Campaign

The Brown's Last Chance campaign is composed of nearly 800 climate, health, social justice, indigenous rights and consumer groups from around California and the world. Brown's Last Chance formed in early 2018 to push Brown to take two urgent actions before leaving office:

  1. Ensure the State of California grants no new permits for oil and gas drilling, fossil fuel infrastructure or petrochemical projects, both onshore and offshore.
  2. Set a global precedent by announcing a phase-out of oil and gas production, starting with 2,500-foot setback limits to protect communities, as well as a fair and equitable transition that protects workers, and economies, starting in places that are suffering most from the impacts of dirty fuel extraction and infrastructure.

In addition to hundreds of groups representing hundreds of thousands of people, Brown's Last Chance has been joined and supported by:

  • Six Nobel Laureates who publicly declared that Brown has a "moral responsibility" to act on freezing new fossil fuel drilling
  • Twenty-six climate scientists who wrote Brown a letter urging him to heed the science by curbing fossil fuel extraction in California
  • Over 150 elected leaders who have publicly called on Brown to end fossil fuel production in their communities
  • U.S. Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, who urged Brown to announce an end to new fossil fuel projects and a just transition plan ending California's existing oil and gas production
  • Leading companies, like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's, which called on Brown to meet the demands of the Brown's Last Chance campaign

Protests Planned for GCAS:

A large contingent of activists from around California, the nation, and the world have been planning for months to engage in direct action and civil disobedience at GCAS. These demonstrations will be energetic, creative, visual, and impossible to ignore. Reporters interested in covering the demonstrations can email [email protected] to stay informed of the time and location of planned actions.

Available Spokespeople and Experts:

Brown's Last Chance campaign will have several spokespeople and experts available for interviews on-the-ground, in-studio or via phone. To contact one of these spokespeople, please email [email protected]

  • Ashley Hernandez, a youth organizer who has lived dangerously close to drilling and refineries in Wilmington, where 90 active oil wells operate 24 hours a day just 200 feet away from homes.
  • Cesar G. Aguirre and Gustavo Aguirre Jr., community organizers with Central California Environmental Justice Network, working to protect public health in the Central Valley from the dangers of extreme extraction. They can talk about life in the shadows of fossil fuel infrastructure and how they are building a network of partners committed to fighting environmental racism.
  • Pennie Opal Plant, co-founder of Idle No More SF Bay who lives near Richmond's Chevron refinery which has sickened nearby residents. She has been instrumental in the Brown's Last Chance campaign since its launch, including risking arrest outside Gov. Brown's office in Sacramento.
  • Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles. Martha is leading efforts to get the city of Los Angeles to require health and safety buffers around drilling sites.
  • Kassie Siegel, senior counsel and director of the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute.  She specializes in climate law and has been a leader in the fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground in California.
  • David Turnbull, strategic communications director at Oil Change International, which recently released a report on the need to phase out California's oil extraction.
  • Pete Erickson, senior scientist at the Stockholm Environmental Institute and author of several very important papers on the importance of addressing fossil fuel extraction, including How Limiting Oil Production Could Help California Meet its Climate Goals.
  • Dr. Aradhna Tripati, a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Dr. Tripati was one of more than two dozen scientists who signed a letter to Gov. Brown endorsing the Brown's Last Chance campaign.

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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

Source: PR Newswire (September 11, 2018 - 4:21 PM EDT)

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