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Fran Pavley, withdraw your bad fracking bill.

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Fran Pavley, withdraw your bad fracking bill.

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Petition Statement

The only solution to the fracking threat is a complete ban. Continue to be the environmental hero we know you to be and withdraw your bill and fight for a ban on fracking.
There are currently 5,491 signatures. NEW goal - We need 7,500 signatures!

Petition Background

The oil industry has discovered 15 billion barrels of oil under the Monterey Shale in California, and hydraulic fracturing or fracking is set to ramp up in a big way. Because the state has no regulations on the new fracking process, elected officials have proposed various bills to regulate and even ban fracking. The only bill still alive is Fran Pavley’s SB 4, a relatively weak regulatory bill that was neutered by the oil industry.
While Fran Pavley has been an environmental hero by authoring AB 32, California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, and AB 1493, California’s Clean Car Regulations, both of which have served as models for the country, this bill is not sufficient to protect the environment and public health from the harms of fracking. The bill's intent is to provide some requirements about permitting, notification, reporting and disclosure, monitoring ground water and a requirement that a scientific study on the effects of fracking be completed before January 1, 2015. In the original bill, if that study was not completed, a moratorium on the practice would be imposed. Since the bill's introduction, however, Pavley has bowed to pressure from the industry to remove the only provision with teeth – the moratorium.
Pavley’s intentions were good. She thought regulations would help protect the environment and the public. But no amount of regulations can insure that fracking can be done safely. 5% of well casings leak immediately and 50% within the first 20 years. Toxic chemicals will get into the ground water. It is happening everywhere. And there are leaks and spills of toxic frack fluids and wastewater happening everywhere. However, even if fracking could be done safely, it still uses too much water in a state experiencing chronic drought. Injecting the wastewater back into the ground has caused earthquakes in states not even known for earthquakes. Imagine what it can do in an earthquake prone state like California and along a major fault line. Fracking could destroy the food and wine industries, which are more important economically to the state than oil. Fracking causes the industrialization of the landscape, noise and light pollution along with the social disruption of a boom and bust industry. Hundreds of daily diesel truck trips through towns cause extensive damage to local roads and increased incidences of asthma and other respiratory diseases. This is already the case in the Inglewood Oil Field in LA, where there is also a cancer cluster. Because in California they frack for oil, if they burn all the oil from the Monterey Shale, it will release almost the same amount of carbon into the air as would be released if the Keystone XL Pipeline were completed. This would prevent California from reaching the goal set in Pavley's bill to reduce greenhouse gases back to 1990 levels by 2020. The oil obtained from fracking will not even go towards energy independence, as it will be sold on the open market to the highest bidder, which will be China. And finally, fracking postpones the push towards clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind.
Several major environmental organizations oppose the bill including Food and Water Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Sierra Club. One of their main objections is a provision in the bill to protect the “trade secrets” of the oil companies and make it a crime to disclose them. While the bill requires the disclosure of some of the chemicals used in fracking, the bill still allows the companies to claim trade secret protections on others.

From the Physicians for Social Responsibility letter to Senator Pavley opposing her bill: "...we note that the approach in this bill stands in stark contrast to that taken in Alaska where the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) has proposed a fracking regulation that requires disclosure of “the amount and types(s) of material pumped during each treatment stage and the total amount and types of material pumped…” to the Commission, but does not grant trade secret protection to the oil and gas industry. The oft repeated chant of oil and gas industry lobbyists to the contrary, the grant of trade secret protection for this clearly hazardous mix of chemicals is an imprudent and unnecessary step in the wrong direction that is not dictated by the existing body of trade secret law. Rather, this grant of trade secret protection should be seen as a policy decision based upon balancing the financial goals of the oil and gas industry with the public health and environmental goals of the people of California. We urge you to strike that balance in favor of the people and environment of California." Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director and Angela Johnson Meszaros, General Counsel, Physicians for Social Responsibility

“The bills would create in statute a path for fracking fluid makers to claim their pollution is protected by trade secrets provisions …The trade secrets protections for fracking fluids are promoted at the Capitol by Halliburton, the oil fields services company whose shoddy work contributed to the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Is it wise to trust regulators and fracking fluid makers like Halliburton to protect our interests?” Kathryn Philips, Director, Sierra Club California

The only solution to the fracking threat is a complete ban. Please sign my petition to tell Fran Pavley to continue to be the environmental hero we know her to be by withdrawing her bill and fighting for a ban on fracking.

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