Sacramento - On Governor Newsom’s first anniversary in office today, dozens of environmental and public health groups urged the governor to declare an immediate climate emergency and institute a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling permits. In a letter to the governor, the groups also called on Newsom to ban fracking, close the dangerous Aliso Canyon gas storage facility in Los Angeles, institute a 2,500-foot buffer zone between drilling and sensitive areas like schools and homes, and order a public takeover of PG&E.
The letter states that Newsom has not lived up to his promises to take bold action to address the climate crisis in the state, and his efforts fall short of what is needed - and of what he promised as a candidate - to move California off of fossil fuel production and consumption. The letter was initiated by Food & Water Action and signed by groups including 350.org, Consumer Watchdog, Environment CA and Progressive Democrats of America.
“The combined effects of wildfires, mudslides, power shut-offs and droughts leave no doubt that California is in a climate emergency,” said Food & Water Action State Director Alexandra Nagy. “The time for half-measures is long gone. Governor Newsom still has the opportunity to take courageous action before it’s too late. This means banning fracking, shutting down Aliso Canyon and moving the state rapidly off fossil fuels and onto clean, renewable energy.”
Matt Leonord, Director of Special Projects with 350.org, added, "Governor Newsom has recognized the extreme threats that the climate crisis presents, and the question now is if he will do what science, and his constituents demand - stop drilling for oil. The same way California catalyzed national shifts on gay marriage or marijuana - this is Newsom's opportunity to create a just transition to a clean-energy economy that protects workers, communities, and the climate"
Deirdre Bolona of Aliso Moms Alliance expressed disappointment that Gov. Newsom had not lived up to his promise of closing the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, the site of the worst blowout in U.S. history in 2015. “My family and my neighbors continue to suffer daily from headaches, rashes, nosebleeds and other symptoms of toxic exposure from this dangerous facility, but Gov. Newsom still wants to further study on what state officials have already concluded: it’s time to shut Aliso Canyon down. We were encouraged by his promises to close Aliso Canyon, but we are sick and tired of waiting, while Gov. Newsome punts on the decision.”
The organizations urged the Gov. Newsom to step up efforts to address the climate crisis in his second year in office and make California and example for the rest of the country and the world.
Contact: Seth Gladstone - sgladstone[at]fwwatch[dog]org, 917.363.6615